Officials say they won't pursue criminal charges against a woman who was practicing driving at a Maryland school parking lot when she struck and killed a 13-year-old girl.
The accident was reported last July at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring. There was initial confusion about who struck the girl, but the offending driver, 33-year-old Esperanza O. Vasquez later admitted she was driving at the time.
Vasquez did not have a valid Maryland driver's license or learner's permit at the time. The 2008 Ford Focus Vasquez was driving jumped the curb in the school's rear parking lot and plunged down a grassy slope, striking two people.
Killed in the accident was Deborah Roxana Reyes Casasola, 13, who had been watching a soccer game at the school. A woman who was with her at the time was injured.
Thursday, it was announced no criminal charges will be filed against Vasquez
"It was a tragedy where the evidence led us to conclude that the events of that day did not rise to the level of criminal negligence. Moving forward with a motor vehicle manslaughter prosecution would not have been the proper course of action in this case," Ramon Korionoff with the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office said.
Casasola's father Wilbert Reyes told News4 hearing the news was like losing his daughter all over again.
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"She had the right for the law to protect her... the law protected the criminal, not the victim," Reyes said. "I saw my daughter's face covered with blood. It's ridiculous what they want to do."
Court records say Vasquez paid a $280 fine for negligent driving and is due in court next week to face a driving without a license charge.
Reyes said he and his family will attend the hearing.
"It's what a father must do," he said.