Five children between the ages of five and 15 died on Saturday in Maryland after their vehicle crashed. Two adults, including the driver, also left the crash with injuries.
The fatal accident occurred around 5 AM in Bowie, Maryland. None of the children appeared to have their seatbelts properly secured, Maryland State Police Captain Daniel Pickett said at a news conference, according to The Washington Post.
The children were all thrown out as their vehicle, a Chrysler Pacifica SUV, veered off the snow-covered road and struck several trees.
Two adults, the driver and a front-seat passenger, were injured in the accident which reportedly may have been triggered by the driver suffering a medical emergency.
“When children are involved, it’s more of a tragedy.”
The children were identified as five-year-old Paris Dixon and eight-year-old London Dixon, siblings from Bowie, and Rickelle Ricks, 6, Zion Beard, 14, and Damari Herald, 15, all of Washington, DC. All five kids were extended family members.
The injured adults are 23-year-old Cornell Simon, the passenger, and the driver, Dominique Taylor, the 32-year-old mom of London and Paris.
Both were taken to a local hospital for treatment, and according to Pickett, Simon was in critical condition while Taylor’s medical state was not known. He, however, revealed that the police have spoken to her.
According to The Washington Post, Taylor’s father, Lee Taylor, declined to make any comment about the tragedy, only saying that it was a difficult time.
A grandparent of some of the children also reportedly posted on social media:
“My Grandbabies and their cousins were suddenly taken from us in the horrific accident that was on 301 in Bowie yesterday. Our Family is experiencing loss like no other. We need your prayers for comfort peace strength and stability at this time. I’d like to (thank) those who have expressed their condolences and ask that you continue to pray for us . . . My heart is broken.”
The police are still investigating the cause of the tragic incident. “Every collision we have where we lose life is a tragedy, simple as that,” said Pickett. “When children are involved, it’s more of a tragedy.”
The Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, tweeted his condolences for “everyone involved” on Saturday:
“Deeply saddened by this tragic auto accident in Prince George's County. Praying for everyone involved, including first responders.”
Only last December, another mom was left grieving after she lost four children in an alleged DUI car crash in South Carolina.
The kids, between the ages of two and eight, were in the vehicle with a man when the van veered off the highway and crashed into several trees.
The man was a father to one of the kids, and their mom had let him take her four children on a visit into town.
He was subsequently arrested and charged with felony driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license and child endangerment.