Police: Driver who crashed stolen SUV into tree, killing 4, sped off from Prince George’s Co. traffic stop minutes earlier

An SUV that hit a tree, resulting in the death of all four of the vehicle’s occupants on Friday night, had been taken during a carjacking in Greenbelt and left the scene of a traffic stop just minutes prior to the crash, according to police in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Police said they are still working to identify the four people in the vehicle that crashed near Bowie. Due to the “severity of the burn injuries, their ages and genders are currently unknown,” Prince George’s County police said in a news release.

At about 7:30 p.m. on Friday, just four minutes before the crash, the Kia Sorrento SUV was stopped by police about 2.5 miles away in the area of Lottsford Road and Palmetto Drive in Mitchellville for having expired temporary tags.

When the police officers activated their emergency lights and attempted to stop the Kia, it sped off, according to the release. Officers then briefly attempted to pursue the Kia, “but lost sight of the vehicle and disengaged,” police said.

During an investigation, police were notified that the registered vehicle did not match the paper tag that was displayed.

Police said that an “independent witness” saw the SUV on Woodmore Road when it passed the person’s vehicle using the shoulder. It was then, while attempting to pass, that the driver of the Kia “lost control and crashed into a tree,” according to police.

The Prince George’s County Police Department said it notified the Maryland Attorney General’s Independent Investigations Division to see if the incident met the “parameters of an officer-involved fatality.” The office decided it did not meet those requirements, according to the news release.

Police are asking anyone with information on this case to call the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit at 301-731-4422.

Those wishing to remain anonymous, may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), or go online at www.pgcrimesolvers.com, or use the “P3 Tips” mobile app search “P3 Tips” in the Apple Store or Google Play to download the app onto your mobile device. 

Editor’s note: The location of this crash was originally reported as Bowie, Maryland, based off a statement from the Prince George’s County Fire and EMS Department on Friday. Despite previous reports, police confirmed to WTOP on Sunday that the crash happened in Mitchellville. 

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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