Maryland State Police troopers are continuing their investigation into the cause of an early morning crash in Prince George’s County today that took the lives of five children.
The deceased are identified as London Dixon, 8, and Paris Dixon, 5, both from Bowie, Md., and Zion Beard, 14, Rickelle Ricks, 6, and Damari Herald, 15, all from Washington, D.C. Each of the deceased was pronounced dead at the scene.
Those injured who survived the crash are identified as Dominique R. Taylor, 32, of Bowie, Md. and Cornell D. Simon, 23, of Oxon Hill, Md. Taylor has been identified as the driver of the vehicle. Simon is believed to have been a passenger in the right front seat.
Shortly before 5:00 a.m. today, the Prince George’s County Fire Department notified the Maryland State Police Forestville Barrack of a reported vehicle crash on northbound Rt. 301 in the area of Pointer Ridge Drive. Responding troopers found that one vehicle was involved with multiple victims and an extensive crash scene. All lanes of northbound Rt. 301 were closed to facilitate the rescue operations and subsequent investigation.
The Maryland State Police Crash Team responded to conduct the investigation. MDOT State Highway Administration personnel responded to establish a detour around the area.
The preliminary investigation indicates a 2005 Chrysler Pacifica was northbound on US Rt. 301 in the area of Pointer Ridge Drive. Inside the vehicle were five children and two adults.
For reasons unknown at this time, the preliminary investigation indicates the vehicle traveled off the left side of the road and into the wood line along the highway. Evidence indicates the vehicle struck several trees and then began to spin in the snow covered field. All five children were ejected.
Both adults were transported by Prince George’s County Fire Department medic units to UM Prince George’s Hospital Center. They remain there undergoing treatment for injuries.
Investigators believe preliminary evidence indicates the driver and front seat passenger were wearing seat belts. Based on preliminary evidence, investigators do not believe the five children were properly restrained in the vehicle at the time of the crash. The children are believed to have been positioned in the rear seats of the vehicle.
The cause of the crash has not been determined at this time. Nothing has been ruled out as a cause or contributing factor. All possibilities are being considered.