Authorities say the 14-year-old girl who crashed an SUV into the water of a Texas port basin was instructed to get behind the wheel to get over her fear of driving. The incident resulted in the death of five passengers, including her mother and other family members.
The girl was reportedly told to drive by Juan Pablo Morales, but according to authorities she panicked and hit the gas pedal instead of the brake. As the SUV headed toward the water, the 56-year-old Morales, who also perished in the crash, tried to steer and stop the vehicle, but it was too late to keep it from running into the basin.
The teenager was the only survivor of the wreck, which killed her 29-year-old mother Juana Edith Alvarez and her siblings: 10-year-old Jesse Lee Alvarez, 7-year-old Emily R. Espino and 4-year-old Joe Alvarez.
Investigators were told by the girl and a witness that Morales told the girl to drive so she could lose her fear of driving.
Authorities previously had noted that the girl was released from a Brownsville, Texas, hospital shortly after being rescued from the water Thursday. She was the sole survivor of the accident.
The girl has not been charged and her name hasn't been released. Once the investigation is complete, the case will be sent to prosecutors for review.