Deadly Gaithersburg crash one of three in the region

WASHINGTON – A teenager is dead and four others injured after two speeding cars crashed in Gaithersburg and one ran off the road into a group of pedestrians Friday afternoon.

Teressa French, 16, of D.C., was killed in the crash at the 7400 block of Muncaster Mill Road, Montgomery County police said on Saturday. A Gaithersburg 13-year-old who was walking with French in a group of three was in serious but stable condition at a nearby hospital. Both were students at the Covenant Life School, which is on the same road, police say.

Three other teenagers were in the two cars. They are all students at Magruder High School and were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The three teenage pedestrians were walking on Muncaster Road around 2:30 p.m. when two speeding cars collided as the two-lane road becomes one. Both cars veered off the road, one of them hitting two of the pedestrians before crashing into a tree, police say.

Witnesses tell ABC7 the two cars were racing. Capt. James Daly, of the Montgomery County police, tells WTOP that “We’re not prepared to classify it as drag racing,” but adds that “we do believe speed was a factor.”

Assistant Chief Scott Graham, of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Department, says that the tree dented the driver’s compartment of the car that hit it by about 20 inches, which he called “pretty significant impact.”

No charges have been filed at this time, the police say in a statement. They added, “Once the investigation is complete, detectives will discuss the case with the State’s Attorney’s Office to determine appropriate charges” – a process that could take weeks.

The wreck in Gaithersburg was one of three serious crashes in the D.C. region on Friday that left a total of two dead and eight injured.

A half-hour earlier, a two-car crash on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway sent two people to a hospital and shut down both directions of the parkway for more than three hours.

Authorities say the wreck between Powder Mill Road and Route 197 occurred when a SUV on the southbound lanes crossed the median and crashed into another SUV going north.

The southbound lanes were closed first. The northbound lanes followed as a helicopter landed to transport both victims. Both are listed in serious, but stable condition.

An earlier crash on I-95 in Prince William County left one dead and two injured around 11:15 a.m.

Police say a Nissan Versa was heading south near Dumfries when it ran off the left side of the road and hit a jersey wall. The impact launched the car into the air, which overturned and landed on a Honda Civic that was also headed south.

The Civic’s driver, 37-year-old Matthew Wilkerson, of Fredericksburg, was killed instantly.

The driver of the Versa, Greg S. Hall, 24, of Fredericksburg, Va., and his mother, Lesa Hall, also of Fredericksburg, were flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital with serious injuries.

The cause of the the crash remains under investigation as of late Friday night.

All southbound lanes of 95 in that portion of Prince William County were closed and drivers were diverted onto the HOV lanes for a period. Heavy congestion continued through 4 p.m. when lanes reopened.

WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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