SILVER SPRING – One woman is dead following a car accident on Randolph Road near Kimblewick Drive early Friday Morning.
Police say they are still investigating the cause after a second collision occurred less than a minute and a block away which included drugs and fleeing passengers.
71-year-old Victoria Hitchins died at the scene after her 2009 Camry struck a tree.
A mile away and about a minute later, a black SUV crashed at Randolph Road and New Hampshire Avenue. There were no casualties in the second accident, but police said they believe the two collisions were related and are still investigating the whereabouts of missing passengers who fled afterwards from the SUV.
Police also said they are investigating whether the SUV was used in a robbery seven hours earlier.
According to Montgomery County police spokesperson Capt. Paul Starks, police responded to Hitchins’ accident on 200 Randolph Road at 6:55a.m.
Charlie Kmetz, who was visiting the home next door, said the car hit the tree at around 6:45 a.m. He said he ran to the accident scene along with several other bystanders. Kmetz estimated Hitchins’ car was going 60 to 70 miles per hour, even though the speed limit is 45.
“After it hit the tree it just kept on traveling. It was going so fast and it just broke into pieces and there was nothing left of the car,” Kmetz said.
According to Kmetz, pieces of the car scattered across the property next door.
“It was pretty horrific and the car was completely destroyed. The body was torn up, there was nothing left of her. There were pieces of her,” Kmetz said.
A bystander said she heard a loud bang while she was getting ready for work.
“I was going downstairs to start working and I heard this humongous bang. I came out and saw the car turned up on the hood. The hood was on the ground and both the passenger door and the driver’s door were off the car. She was hanging out of the other side of the car,” said the owner of the property where Hitchins’ car came to rest.
The owner said police and crews had to cut down one of her trees and break the car apart in order to remove the wreckage from her property. Leftover debris from the car remained.
Police also received a call at 6:56 a.m. regarding a second collision at Randolph Road and New Hampshire Avenue. According to Montgomery County Police, 20-year-old Ousmane William Mohamed Barry from Palmyra, Virginia was driving a black 2005 Mercury Mountaineer east on Randolph Road. While attempting to make a right turn onto New Hampshire Avenue, he hit a utility pole.
Starks said that three passengers in the SUV fled, while Barry remained at the scene as paramedics arrived.
“The driver was not injured. Three passengers fled and a search for them ensued because a quantity of drugs was located in the SUV and also it was thought that there might be some relationship between that vehicle and the vehicle at the (first) fatal crash site,” Starks said.
Police spokesperson Rick Goodale said they have not identified how much or what type of drugs they discovered in the SUV.
Sergeant Paul Reese of the fourth district investigative section said the SUV from Friday’s collision is being investigated for being involved in a robbery in Wheaton. Reese said the victim was outside of his home when the thieves robbed him.
However, Reese also said the victim could not identify any of his robbers from that night.
“At this time the victim did not get a good look at the suspects. It was a very quick armed robbery and we’re investigating any leads with the items that were stolen at that time,” Reese said.
Reese said the SUV was also involved in another collision in Olney on Wednesday, June 15. The collision happened in Olney and the SUV rear-ended another vehicle at a McDonald’s, pushing the vehicle into the building.
“At that point, three suspects ran from the vehicle, two of them stayed on scene. Mr. Ousmane Barry remained on the scene (as well as) another unidentified juvenile. (Barry) was cited for that collision and released. The vehicle was towed at that time,” Reese said.
Police released the car back to Barry on June 16.
Picerno said police have not yet charged Barry in relation to the collision on Friday and he is no longer in custody, though the charges are pending
“He was taken into custody and a drug recognition expert evaluation was completed. But until we get results of toxicology from the Maryland state police crime lab, we will not be in a position to charge him with the events that occurred at this collision,” Picerno said.
Picerno said police are asking for any recordings from security cameras of businesses around the area.
“We do believe that there are more witnesses out there that may know more or may have seen something that, at the time they saw it, may not have appeared to be significant,” said Sergeant Nick Picerno of the Collision Reconstruction Unit.