NEW DETAILS: Riverdale church van struck in horrific Chillum crash

November 9, 2015

Photo courtesy Chris Currie.

BY REBECA BENNETT — According to the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD), the department’s collision analysis and reconstruction unit is investigating the cause of Sunday’s crash that left three adults and one child dead, along with injuring more than a dozen other people.

Shortly before 5 p.m., authorities said they were called to the 2100 block of Chillum Road for the report of a crash involving a pick up trick and a church van. The accident happened a few blocks west of Queens Chapel Road. That van was reportedly from a church in Riverdale and carrying 16 people.

PGPD said the preliminary investigation reveals the pickup truck was involved in a hit-and-run crash with a car — which fire officials identified as a Cadillac — in the westbound lanes of Chillum Road. The truck’s driver fled the scene of the first crash.  Prince George’s County Fire & Rescue told media outlets that one of the truck’s tires was on fire.  The truck lost control, police said, crossed the center line, struck the eastbound church van, and then burst into flames.

Pronounced dead on the scene were the driver of the pickup truck and three occupants of the van, one of whom was a child, according to police. Authorities said they are waiting to notify families of the deceased before their names are released.

A pregnant woman in the van suffered serious injuries. She had emergency surgery and lost her baby.  PGPD said the driver of the Cadillac suffered minor injuries and 13 others were treated from a range of minor to critical injuries.  Their ages range from six months to more than 70-years-old.

Police said investigators are looking into whether the victims were wearing seat belts and if the children in the van were in child safety seats.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department at 301.731.4422.