1 Dead After Reckless Driver Sparks Head-On Crash on Suitland Parkway

“We have all our units out there to see if we can find this vehicle,” D.C.'s police chief said

NBC Universal, Inc.

A woman has died and four other people are hurt after a reckless driver caused a head-on crash on Suitland Parkway on Tuesday, D.C.’s police chief says. Officers are still looking for the driver who caused the crash and fled the scene. 

Sherry Knight of Lothian, Maryland, was killed. She was 42. 

Knight was a passenger in a Chevy Traverse that was headed toward D.C. just before 9 a.m. when a man in a dark-colored car sped up behind the SUV and tried to pass it, police said. The driver, a man, lost control and the vehicle crossed the median into opposing traffic.

A 13-year-old child was in the back seat, D.C. Chief of Police Peter Newsham said. 

“It’s a tragic, tragic traffic crash,” he said.

The SUV hit a Ford Transit van head-on. Two people were inside. 

The reckless driver then sideswiped two other vehicles and fled the scene. 

The man and child in the SUV were taken to a hospital for injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening. Two other people were treated and released on the scene. 

The reckless driver was in a matte black car, a witness said, providing few other details. The car is likely to have damage from the multiple crashes. 

“We have all our units out there to see if we can find this vehicle,” Newsham said. 

There are a number of cameras in the area.

Photos from D.C. Fire and EMS show the crushed SUV and what appears to be a van for the carpet cleaning company Stanley Steemer. The company's corporate headquarters did not immediately respond to an inquiry.

A van full of recently graduated Secret Service officers happened to be in the area right after the crash. They pulled two people from the vehicles and began to treat them, the Secret Service said in a statement. A photo shows nine officers wearing face masks.

D.C. police and fire crews arrived soon after.

Suitland Parkway was closed in both directions for hours and fully reopened by 2:30 p.m.

Once found, the reckless driver may face charges of reckless driving and negligent homicide, the police chief said. 

The Secret Service said they were proud of their officers' fast response and commitment to helping the public.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story. 

Contact Us