A 22-year-old woman died after a 12-year-old boy jumped off of an overpass and landed on her car, Saturday.
The boy, who has not been named, jumped off of Cedar Lane overpass in Virginia and landed on Marisa W. Harris’ 2005 Ford Escape, according to a press release provided to PEOPLE by the Virginia State Police Department. A 23-year-old male passenger who was traveling with Harris managed to grab the steering wheel and direct the vehicle off of the interstate.
Harris, of Olney, Maryland, died at the scene, while the passenger was uninjured. The boy was transported to Fairfax Inova Hospital where he is being treated for life-threatening injuries.
Police say the incident is being investigated as an attempted suicide.
Harris’ family told The Washington Post that she was pursuing her master’s degree in clinical counseling at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. They said she had a gift for working with children with severe behavioral problems.
“She was caring — I mean she had an absolute love for children,” Leigh Miller, Harris’ mother, said.
Her father, Patrick Harris, told the Post he wasn’t ignorant about the circumstances of her death.
“That’s the irony that we’re looking at right now,” he said, describing Marisa as outgoing, with an affinity for the outdoors. “She was fearless, she was absolutely fearless. She was loved by her friends, she was dearly loved by her family, she was admired by her peers, she was just a shining star.”
As for her passion in helping children, her loved ones said it ran in the family as Marisa came from a “long line of psychologists.”
“She was — she was awesome,” her mother said. “I miss her so much.”