State News

Jul 12, 2013 5:56 PM by Associated Press

Girl Driving When SUV Went Into Water, Killing 5

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - A 14-year-old girl was behind the wheel of an SUV that plunged into a South Texas port basin, killing her mother, three siblings and a man, authorities say.

The girl, who has not been yet identified by authorities, was the sole survivor of the accident and was released from a Brownsville hospital shortly after being rescued from the water Thursday.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused the girl to drive the SUV off a dockyard into the water of the basin at the Port of Brownsville, but Lucio says no foul play is suspected.

The accident happened in an area of the port known as Shrimp Basin, where shrimping boats dock.

Port of Brownsville police Chief Carlos Garcia said the girl told him that her mother and siblings were in the car. "It was just the basic information. She was in shock when I talked to her," Garcia said.

Divers worked Thursday afternoon to recover the SUV, a Mercury Mountaineer. The vehicle had to be hoisted up from the water with cranes.

Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio identified those killed in the accident as 29-year-old Juana Edith Alvarez; her children, 10-year-old Jesse Lee Alvarez, 7-year-old Emily R. Espino and 4-year-old Joe Alvarez; and 56-year-old shrimp boat captain Juan Pablo Morales. Lucio said apparently the family was on its way to drop off Morales at his work in a shrimping boat.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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