At least eight people are dead and five others injured in Accokeek, Maryland, after a car accidentally plowed into a group of people watching an illegal car race on the side of Route 210—also known as Indian Head Highway—at around 3:30 in the morning in Prince George’s County.
One woman who was in the crowd, Crystal Gaines, was able to grab her daughter out of the way. Her father, William Gaines Sr., 61, had a broken leg. He was unable to move away in time and is among those who died.
While CNN is reporting that there were 50 people in the crowd, one witness told Newsday that about 200 to 300 people had gathered to watch two cars speed racing down the road. The people moved into the road as the cars drove away and that was when the accident happened.
Some people that were struck in the crash flew as high as 15 feet in the air. Police had to circulate photos of the dead bodies so that family and friends could identify their loved ones.
The driver, in a Ford Crown Victoria, says he did not see the crowd because the smoke from the cars racing away made visibility difficult. Crystal Gaines, however, claims that the driver did not have the headlights of the car on.
Her brother, William Gaines Jr. said the Ford was moving so fast that he didn’t see the car until it had struck the crowd. Another person may have been injured when a tractor-trailer, trying to avoid the accident scene, have also hit someone. The victims ages range from 20s to 60’s.
Street races are a common occurrence on Indian Head Highway—although the races usually involve motorcycles. Police have placed speed traps and radar in the area.
Car accidents can lead to fatal injuries for pedestrians—especially when someone is struck by an auto, bus, truck, or motorcycle that is moving at a fast rate.
Our Maryland motor vehicle accident law firm can determine who is liable for your injuries or the death of your loved one and help you deal with insurance companies and the other party or parties so that you can recover for your losses.
Missing 8 killed by car at illegal racing site in Maryland, Newsday, February 17, 2008
Missing Street-race crash kills 8 in crowd, CNN, February 16, 2008
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