Police: 22-year-old driver dead after 12-year-old boy jumped from I-66 overpass onto car

Virginia State Police say a 12-year-old boy's suicide attempt has left 22-year-old Marisa Harris dead after the boy jumped off an overpass on I-66 and landed on her car. The boy is now in the hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to officials. (Family Photo)

Marisa Harris was going places.

Her dad tells us she was a graduate student at Marymount University in Arlington, studying clinical counseling.

The 22-year-old was driving a Ford Escape, her dad says, with her boyfriend in the front seat, when Virginia State Police say a 12-year-old boy jumped off of an I-66 overpass and hit her.

“That’s terrible, especially that a 12-year-old would do something like that,” said Lauren Hummell, who is familiar with the overpass.

VDOT cameras show the police activity.

It happened after 4 p.m. Saturday at the Cedar Lane overpass in Vienna.

Lauren Hummel’s heart sinks because she works in a mental health facility.

“The fact that someone so young would do that, you know, heartbreaking.”

Police say Harris’ boyfriend had to steer the car off of the interstate.

It hit the jersey wall. But he was not injured.

Harris died at the scene; the boy was taken to the hospital with injuries that are life-threatening.

The overpass has a short guardrail, giving plenty of room for a jumper.

But there is fencing at the highest point.

“I think just in general bridges need to have higher guardrails because that’s where a lot of seriously depressed individuals will go to try to hurt themselves,” said Hummell.

Harris’s father said it was too soon to speak on camera.

But he wanted us to know that Marisa was a smart and caring woman, who volunteered with children.

She grew up in Olney and graduated from Sherwood High School and Towson University before going on to Marymount.

And he says irony is she wanted to help troubled kids like the one who attempted suicide on an overpass.

Marymount University later released a statement on Harris's death and offered their condolences to her friends and family.

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