Irvine Girl Who Fell Out of Van Dies of Injuries

A 10-year-old Irvine girl died Monday of injuries suffered a week ago when she fell out of a van making a turn, an police spokesman said.

Suzanne Renee Merritt died at 2:25 p.m. at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where she was taken after the late afternoon incident on Feb. 24, according to Irvine Police Sgt. Mike Ogden.

Ogden said the girl was in the front passenger seat of the van, driven by a 16-year-old Irvine resident. As the van, eastbound on Bryan Avenue, turned north onto Westwood, the passenger door opened and the girl fell to the pavement, he said.

"It is unknown how or why the door came open," Ogden said. The girl was not wearing a seat belt, he added. No charges are pending against the driver, whose name was not released.

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