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Mother in SUV strikes 5 kids in Md., 1 dead

- Associated Press - Friday, June 1, 2012

A mother accidentally backed her SUV into five children in the driveway of her Prince George's County home, killing one of them, police said Friday.

An 8-year-old girl has died of her injuries, another child was in serious condition and the three others were stable, police spokeswoman Julie Parker said.

The collision occurred around 8:45 p.m. Thursday in the 2200 block of Hannon Street when Marianable Cruz-Lopez mistakenly stepped on the gas instead of the brake, striking five children — ranging from a toddler to an 11-year-old — and then hitting the garage. She has not been charged, and drugs and alcohol were not believed to be a factor, Ms. Parker said.

"It's just a devastating accident," she said.

An officer who was performing CPR on one of the children reported seeing children being pulled from the garage one-by-one and then placed on the grass, Ms. Parker said.

The 8-year-old victim, Natalie Hernandez-Cruz, is the daughter of the driver. The youngest victim, a 1-year-old boy, was the driver's son. But police were working Friday to determine the woman's relationship with the other children.

Police had been called to the same home about 40 minutes earlier because of a reported landlord-tenant dispute.

Ms. Cruz-Lopez was in the process of moving out of the home Thursday evening, though the dispute is not believed to have any connection to the accident, Ms. Parker said. Officers were still in the area when the call for the accident came in and were able to respond immediately, she said.

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