A 12-year-old girl died in a single-vehicle crash in Columbia early Sunday morning, Howard County Police said. Police identified her Monday as Josseline Molina-Rivas.
Police believe Josseline was driving a 2017 Toyota Corolla around 2:08 a.m. in Columbia when the car left the road and struck a tree. The passenger, 36-year-old Mario Arturo-Artiga, remains in serious condition Monday at Shock Trauma in Baltimore. The two share an apartment address but are not related.
Police said Monday that they do not know why Josseline and Arturo-Artiga were in a car together early Sunday morning. Traffic detectives believe speed was a factor in the crash and are investigating whether either occupant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Police said the registered owner of the Toyota lived in the same apartment as Josseline and Arturo-Artiga, along with numerous other family members and residents.
Medics pronounced Josseline dead at the scene. Police believe she was driving south on Broken Land Parkway, just north of Cradlerock Way, when the car crashed into a tree. No other vehicles were involved in the crash.
“[Josseline] had a promising and bright future ahead of her and her life was cut short. She was sweet, beautiful, and funny,” wrote Alma Ortiz, who created a GoFundMe to raise money for Josseline’s funeral on behalf of her family.