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Girl who drove SUV into water was told to drive

Published On: Jul 29 2013 03:37:12 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 29 2013 03:49:24 PM CDT

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) -

Authorities say a 14-year-old girl who drove an SUV into the waters of a South Texas port basin, killing five passengers, was instructed to get behind the wheel to conquer her fear of driving.

The teenager, the sole survivor of the July 11 incident, was told to drive toward the docks at the Port of Brownsville by 56-year-old Juan Pablo Morales. Authorities said Monday the girl panicked and hit the gas pedal instead of the brake.

Also killed when the SUV became submerged was the mother of the girl, 29-year-old Juana Edith Alvarez, and the girl's siblings, 10-year-old Jesse Lee Alvarez, 7-year-old Emily R. Espino and 4-year-old Joe Alvarez.

The incident happened in an area known as Shrimp Basin, where shrimping boats dock.

The teen was not charged.