Man, dog die after being hit by 12-year-old driver, suspect arrested and charged

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Authorities say a man and his dog died after a 12-year-old driver crashed into them in southwest Houston.

The identity of the male victim, 46, is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

The crash occurred at an apartment complex on Beverly Hill Street around 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Police say a father allowed his 12-year-old daughter to get behind the wheel and drive. Authorities say the father was apparently seated in the passenger side and there was also a 2-year-old in the back seat.

Investigators believe the 12-year-old girl may have stepped on the gas pedal too hard and caused the car to lunge forward from its parking space. At the same time, authorities say a man was walking by with his dog and was hit so hard by the car that both he and his dog died.

The district attorney's office tells us the father is now in custody and will be charged with negligent homicide and child endangerment for allowing his 12-year-old to drive with a 2-year-old in the back seat.

Charges have been filed against a suspect arrested, Tomas Mejia Tol. He is charged with criminal negligent homicide and endangering a child in the 230th State District Court.

HPD Vehicular Crimes Division Sergeant F. Briones and Officer C. Cisneros reported:

"Mejia Tol allowed his 12-year-old daughter to drive a black Ford Explorer in an apartment complex parking lot at the above address.  The child (driver) began to pull forward from a parking space as a man was walking with his dogs through the parking lot.  When the child pressed the accelerator pedal, the Ford moved forward at a high rate of speed, struck the man, one of his dogs and then a tree.  Paramedics arrived and pronounced the victim deceased.  The dog was also pronounced deceased."

Mejia Tol was detained and subsequently charged in the incident.