Police say three people are dead after an SUV struck a tree in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, late Saturday night.
Anne Arundel County Police said an off-duty officer saw it happen around 10:30 p.m.
An SUV traveling westbound on Route 100 was approaching the exit for Route 10 in Pasadena, Maryland, at an excessive speed when it left the roadway and began to spin, police said.
The tires of the 2017 BMW X5 Series then “dug into the ground” and it started to overturn and struck a tree, according to police.
The uprooted tree fell on top of the passenger section of the vehicle, police said.
Police say the officer that witnessed it stopped to help while calling for assistance.
The three people in the vehicle were extracted from the SUV and were pronounced dead at the scene, police said. They were transported to the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsies.
The three who died have been identified as driver, Brian Alexander Simmons, 44, of Accokeek, Maryland, passengers Diona Trechele Baber, 39, of Fort Washington, Maryland, and Willette Luann S. Marshall, 41, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Police say the primary causes of the crash appear to be failure to stay in a lane and driving at an excessive speed.
Preliminarily, police said alcohol usage appears to be a factor. Toxicology results are pending.