A toddler was killed and three other people injured, including a 5-year-old, in a crash that blocked traffic on the Capital Beltway in Temple Hills, Maryland, on Friday during the evening rush hour.
Maryland State Police said that Leelete Andargie, 2, of Oxon Hill, died from her injuries. Her sister Meklit, 5, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, a news release said. Their parents father Assegid A. Damena, 46, and mother Sisaynesh B. Abetew, 33, had minor injuries.
Police said that Leelete was restrained in a forward-facing child safety seat; Meklit was on a child booster seat in the right rear passenger seat; Abetew was in the front passenger seat; and Damena was in the driver seat.
The crash happened on the Outer Loop just before Maryland state Route 5 (Branch Avenue) in Prince George’s County just after 5:30 p.m. It involved three vehicles.
Police said that a Chevy Malibu driven by 37-year-old Nicole L. Williams, of Waldorf, struck the Toyota Camry Leelete’s family was in. Damena then struck a Cadillac driven by 53-year-old Ronald J. Berry, of Temple Hills.
An initial investigation revealed that Williams was traveling north on Interstate 495 when she failed to slow down for stopped traffic, police said.
When police arrived on the scene, they found Leelete unconscious. Family members and a witness were attempting to administer medical treatment to the child.
Maryland State police said the investigation is ongoing and charges are pending. Alcohol is not considered a factor in the crash.
All lanes of the Outer Loop were closed for several hours. Traffic was initially diverted to St. Barnabas Road during the investigation. Then the left shoulder opened, allowing vehicles to pass through. All northbound lanes reopened just after 9 p.m. on Friday.
For the latest traffic conditions, visit WTOP’s Traffic Page.
Below is the area where the crash occurred. Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the Forestville Barrack at 301-568-8101.