One Child Dead, Four Injured After SUV Crash

Accident occurred just before 9 p.m. Thursday night

The 8-year-old daughter of the woman who struck five kids in a driveway with her SUV before slamming the vehicle into a garage has died from her injuries.

The accident happened just before 9 p.m. Thursday along the 2200 block of Hannon Street in Hyattsville, when 33-year-old Marianable Cruz-Lopez hit the gas instead of the brakes as she backed out of the driveway. Cruz-Lopez then struck five children, including her own daughter, with her SUV. The vehicle then crashed into the garage, sending bricks down onto the children.

"She mistakenly stepped on the gas instead of the brake," said Prince George's County PIO Julie Parker. "The SUV accelerated rapidly in reverse, hit the children and then carried on into the garage.

"Despite the circumstances, this just seems like this was simply a devastating accident," Parker said.

Maximillian Mendez, who witnessed the incident, described the scene.

"I came outside and I was paralyzed with fear," he said. "Everybody was screaming. There was a lot of commotion. Luckily, my son heard the screams, came down and tried to rescue those who were buried under the rubble."

The five children, ranging in ages from 1 to 11, were playing in the driveway when the accident occurred. Natalie Hernandez-Cruz, 8, the daughter of Cruz-Lopez, died from her injuries. An 11-year-old boy is said to be in critical condition, and the three other children, aged 1, 6 and 7, are said to have minor injuries.

According to authorities, a tenant/landlord dispute call came in just 20 minutes before the accident. Police left the scene, then returned when a 911 call came in. There does not appear to be malice in this case.

Stay with News4 and for more on this story as it continues to develop.

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