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Fatal Crash Under Persimmon Tree

One passenger was killed and 13 others were injured when a SUV Toyota Four Runner hit a minivan that apparently had stalled underneath the Persimmon Tree Road overpass on the beltway.

The accident occurred at about 7 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16.

"The accident involved a total of four vehicles, two of which really bore the brunt of the damage and the majority of the patients," said Eugene Roesser, spokesperson for Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department. "The SUV appeared to hit the minivan at full force, there didn't appear to be any skid marks or anything."

Both cars were full of occupants, said Roesser.

A total of 14 people were treated — three were transported by helicopter to the hospital for critical injuries — and one person was killed on impact. Several people were pinned or trapped inside the vehicles.

The minivan was also loaded with equipment, said Roesser.

"The SUV did not meet the rear end of the bumper [of the minivan] and went through the rear tailgate so, of course the impact was that much greater," said Roesser.

The initial call to Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department reported that passengers were ejected from the vehicle, "so they were fairly well prepared for what they would see. They got the helicopters right out of the gate" when they arrived on the scene, said Roesser, who said approximately 30 firefighters responded to the accident.

The Maryland State Police is still investigating the collision.

<tgl>— KEN MOORE