A family is shattered after an 8-year-old boy drove the family car into a pole, killing his 6-year-old sister in the process.
According to the Associated Press, a Phoenix mother discovered her two children were missing, half an hour after putting them to bed. She immediately called the police, who attempted to pull the car over after locating the vehicle nearby.
When police flashed their emergency lights at the car, it swerved and crashed into a poll.
As the AP notes, police officers approached the car after the crash, "thinking it's a kidnap, that there's a bad guy in there," Sgt. Steve Martos said.
When they arrived at the vehicle, police discovered that the driver was an 8-year-old boy. His 6-year-old sister was sitting in the passenger seat. Both children were in their pajamas.
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The girl, identified as Aaliyah Felder, died from her injuries on Wednesday night. According to police, she wasn’t wearing her seatbelt. Her brother, who has not been identified, suffered a minor ankle injury.
Police have not determined the exact circumstances surrounding the tragic incident. They have yet to interview the boy. "We want to wait," Martos said.
“It doesn't appear that we're looking at it from a criminal standpoint," Martos added.
Police said the mother put her children to bed at 9:30 p.m. She realized her children were missing shortly after 10. The front door to her apartment was wide open, and her car, a 2010 Hyundai Elantra, was gone.
According to the AP, at least two different witnesses reported seeing the car in the area. Police said the car traveled a distance of roughly three miles and backtracked.
The mother, who has not been identified, was extremely distraught after her children were found in the car. "It was a horrible and tragic moment for her," Martos said.