We’re heartbroken to report that a tragic road accident took place this past weekend in Virginia when a 22-year-old woman named Marisa W. Harris was killed after a boy jumped onto her car in an apparent suicide attempt.
The 12-year-old boy, who has remained unidentified, leapt off the Cedar Lane overpass and landed on the hood of her SUV. When the impact hit, a friend in the passenger seat grabbed the steering wheel in an attempt to direct the car to safety. They hit a concrete barrier, and Harris died on the scene.
The 12-year-old boy survived the incident, but remains in the hospital with serious injuries.
Harris was from Maryland and came from a family of psychologists. She had been studying for her master’s degree in clinical counseling at Marymount University.
Her father Patrick went on to recognize the irony of the tragedy, because his daughter wanted to work with children struggling with mental health issues.
He described her as “fearless — absolutely fearless,” in the same interview.
This is utterly heartbreaking, and our thoughts go out to Harris’ parents, friends and extended family.
If there’s any good that can possibly come from such an extreme tragedy, let it be the reminder that mental health services are critically important, even for children and teens, and that we should never take signs of depression or mental health issues lightly. If you or someone you know is currently struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline day or night at 1-800-273-8255.