3 Dead in Rock Creek Parkway Crash

This news report was updated, noon, Thursday, March 16.

Three persons died at the scene after an overnight crash on Rock Creek Parkway — and two others are hospitalized. The head-on collision, involving two vehicles, occurred around 1:40 a.m., Wednesday, March 15, just south of the P Street parkway ramp in Georgetown.

According to U.S. Park Police, one of the vehicles involved in the crash fled a traffic stop in the southbound lane near Virginia Avenue NW and the Watergate complex, just before the crash. USPP did not pursue. Park Police Sgt. Thomas Twiname told media at the scene: “If a vehicle flees a traffic stop, we have policies and procedures that guide our actions. Our officers are required to abide by those policies and procedures, and in this instance, the officer determined that the vehicle that fled did not meet the criteria for a pursuit and so they did not pursue the vehicle.”

The three who died were in the same vehicle; the two injured, in the other, according USPP. Police did not specify who was in which vehicle — nor which vehicle was the one that got stopped by police earlier. The crash involved what looked like a Lexus SUV and a Honda sedan.

Melanie Alnwick of Fox 5 News said, “Witnesses report hearing an odd boom sound around the same time as the crash. Witnesses also say other drivers at the scene were out of their vehicles trying to help those involved in the crash.”

Road closures were lifted at 11:30 a.m. after about 10 hours.

NBC 4 News reported: “Police have not said why the driver of the Lexus fled the traffic stop, but there is body-worn camera video from the officer who stopped the car to review. According to Department of Motor Vehicles records, there are 44 outstanding citations associated with the tags on the Lexus totaling $12,300 since May.”

According to Park Police, the deceased were later identified as Mohamed Kamara, 42, of Burtonsville, Maryland, Jonathan Cabrera Mendez, 23, of Arlington, Virginia, and Olvin Torres Velasquez, 22, of Arlington, Virginia. The Lexus was occupied by an adult woman and adult man. The adult woman was transported to the hospital with injuries later considered life-threatening and the adult man was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

USPP detectives are working in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia as the crash remains under investigation. No additional information is available at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to contact the USPP Tip Line at 202-379-4877 or email USPP_TIPLINE@nps.gov.


The aftermath of a two-vehicle crash on Rock Creek Parkway that killed three persons, as seen from Rose Park in Georgetown. Photo by Robert Devaney.


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