BOWIE, MD (Gray News) - Investigators in Maryland are working to determine the cause of a single-vehicle car crash that left five children between the ages of 5 and 15 dead and two adults injured, according to Maryland State Police.
Police say 32-year-old Dominique Taylor was driving along the highway shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday when the extended family’s SUV veered off the road into the woods and struck several trees. The SUV then began to spin in the snow-covered field.
All five children, believed to have been in the rear seats of the SUV, were ejected. They were pronounced dead at the scene, after police responded.
The victims were identified as 5-year-old Paris Dixon, 6-year-old Rickelle Ricks, 8-year-old London Dixon, 14-year-old Zion Beard and 15-year-old Damari Herald.
Police say they believe the children were not “properly restrained” in the SUV at the time of the crash.
Taylor and 23-year-old Cornell Simon, who is believed to have been in the front passenger seat, were both transported to the hospital, where they are being treated for injuries.
Police said Simon was in critical condition but did not know Taylor’s medical condition. However, officers were able to speak to her, according to the Washington Post.
Investigators believe Taylor and Simon were wearing seat belts when the crash occurred.
All the victims were members of an extended family, police say. Taylor was identified as the mother of 5-year-old Paris and 8-year-old London.
“Every collision we have where we lose life is a tragedy, simple as that,” said police Capt. Daniel Pickett, according to the Post. “When children are involved, it’s more of a tragedy.”
The family is believed to have been headed home at the time of the incident. The cause of the crash has not been determined.