Police are investigating a fatal chain reaction crash on the Beltway Tuesday morning at Ritchie Marlboro Road in Prince George's County. Six cars were involved and investigators say two people on their way to work were killed.
A multiple-vehicle collision has caused a major traffic backup in Maryland.
All Inner Loop lanes of the Beltway in Prince George's County were closed and lanes on the Outer Loop were affected as well. About 10:30 a.m. lanes on the Inner Loop were reopened.
The collision occurred near Ritchie Marlboro Road around 6:30 a.m. Authorities confirmed two fatalities. News4's Tracee Wilkins said a total of six vehicles were involved in the crash.
A Ford Freestyle and Honda Civic collided on the Outer Loop, sending the Ford spinning into a ditch, News4’s Chris Gordon reported. The Honda collided with a Camry and both drove off the roadway and crossed the median toward the Inner Loop. The Honda hit the guardrail, went airborne, landed on a BMV and rolled on to a Rav4.
A woman in the black BMW identified as 41-year-old Candace Hewitt, of Davidsonville, Md., died when one of the flying vehicles came down on top of her car. The other fatality was 31-year-old Rodolfo Amaya, of Oxon Hill, Md., who was driving a 1994 Honda Civic that went airborne. Several others were hospitalized following the crash.
The severe accident brought traffic on the Beltway to a standstill during the morning commute. Frustrated drivers got out of their cars and were milling around on the roadway before police began directing traffic in the opposited direction off of the highway.
The driver of the Ford that police believe may have started the chain reaction by was taken for alcohol testing and released, Gordon reported. He has not been identified.
Candace Hewitt was on her way to work as a TV producer at The Pentagon Channel, where she covered the military, Gordon reported. She is well- known and respected for her years on local TV news in Washington. She leaves a husband and young daughter.