A 12-year-old-boy was at the wheel of a car that was traveling at 150 kilometers an hour when it crashed into a tree in the south of Mexico City Sunday, killing five children and injuring three more.
Police said the minor was driving a four-door Pontiac G3 passenger car on the Eje 10 Sur thoroughfare in the borough of Tláhuac when he lost control of the vehicle and spun off the road at around 5:50pm.
All of the victims were thrown out of the car when it flipped upon impact with the tree. Three girls and two boys, all aged between 12 and 14, died instantly, police said.
Three other children were taken to a local hospital while a 10-year-old boy who survived the crash ran home to alert his parents to what had happened.
The driver, identified only as Luis Eduardo, sustained light injuries and was taken into custody.
Photos of the crash scene show a mangled car with its windows smashed and parts scattered on the ground. The bodies of the five children who died were all dismembered.
At a press conference yesterday, Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera suggested that the injuries the victims received were even more severe than those sustained by the victims of another high-speed crash on the boulevard Paseo de la Reforma last year.
According to a report in the newspaper Milenio, the minor had his parents’ permission to drive the vehicle and had invited his friends from a local middle school to accompany him on the joyride.
Following the accident, many people expressed outrage on social media and directed blame at the boy’s parents. Some went as far as saying that they should be held legally responsible for the deaths. Others said the boy should be tried in adult court.
The division of the Mexico City Attorney General’s office (PGJ) responsible for investigating crimes involving minors said that the boy will be investigated for vehicular homicide.
However, the PGJ said via Twitter last night that in accordance with criminal laws for adolescents, the boy will not go to prison because he is under the age of 14.
Instead, a judge will determine a non-custodial sanction which could range from a reprimand to comprehensive rehabilitation counseling, the PGJ said.
The minor was placed under the protection of the DIF family services agency last night because his parents failed to pick him up from the Attorney General’s office where he had been held since the accident.
As of this afternoon, the parents’ whereabouts were still unknown, the Attorney General told a press conference. Edmundo Garrido said efforts were under way to locate them or other family members.
Separate funeral services were held for all of the deceased minors yesterday.