Police have released the identities of three people killed Sunday morning when a SUV crashed on East-West Highway at Rosemary Hill Drive in Silver Spring.
Eight people were in the van at the time of the crash; the other five were injured.
No other car was involved in the crash, which happened about 3:20 a.m. Police said they are investigating the possibility that speed, alcohol, and not wearing seat belts were factors in the collision.
Police said three passengers -- 21-year-old Cesar Alarcon Noriega of Washington, D.C., 24-year-old Melissa Roxanna Argueta of Silver Spring, and 23-year-old Yeny Karina Vicente DeLeon of Silver Spring -- were pronounced dead at the scene.
The carload of friends were headed home from a birthday party, News4's Chris Gordon reported.
"I just remember the cheerful person she was all the time," said Wilson Melendez, Argueta's brother.
Noriega, who had worked with Argueta, was a "lovable guy, smiling all the time, happy," said Luis Martinez, Noriega's brother.
The driver, 32-year-old Evelyn Martinez of Lanham, and four passengers -- a 25-year-old man, a 32-year-old man, a 23-year-old woman and a 20-year-old woman -- were taken to the hospital with various injuries. The 32-year-old man's injuries were reported as serious.
No charges have been filed.