Tragedy in N. Potomac

Friday, police released the names of three of the victims in a violent crash in North Potomac. Two teenagers died after a car flew into a fence, hit a tree and landed upside down in someone’s front yard. Two other teens were injured in the crash.

Friday afternoon, police released the following names:

  • Alexander Murk, age 18, of Potomac (deceased)
  • Calvin Jia-Xing Li, age 18, of Rockville (deceased)
  • Samuel Joseph Ellis, age 18, of North Potomac(life-threatening injuries)

The fourth name was not released because of his age. He remains in serious condition.

Alexander Murk and Calvin Jia-Xing Li, both passengers in the back seat, were killed in the crash. Police say they were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

Ellis was driving and suffered life-threatening injuries. The fourth teen, who was the front seat passenger, also suffered serious injuries. Ellis and the front seat passenger were wearing seat belts, according to police.

Police say that the air bags in the car did deploy.

Ellis was a former quarterback at Wootton High School and Li also played on the football team. A Wootton High School football flyer was found at the crash scene.

On Friday night, friends and family held a vigil for the four victims at the Wootton football stadium.

The Acura TSX carrying the four teenagers crashed just before midnight Thursday in the 13800 block of Dufief Mill Road. The car hit a fence and tree before overturning in the front yard of a home.

Police say their preliminary investigation indicates that the teens had gone to an underage drinking party in area but left in the Acura. They were traveling west in the 13800 block of Dufief Mill Road when the car crashed.

Captain Tom Didone said that the party took place at a home in North Potomac and that citations were issued. When police arrived on the scene an adult was present but the party had already concluded. It’s unknown whether adults were at the party, however, parents can be charged whether or not they know about alcohol being served in their home, according to Didone.

Captain Tom Didone with the Montgomery County Police Department says that speed was a factor in the crash. The area has a speed limit of 30 mph. Didone said on Friday that the area is near a school and that there are speed cameras, but they were not on.

“It’s going to take more than speed cameras to stop these tragedies,” remarked Didone.

Alcohol may also be a factor in the crash. Didone revealed that evidence of at least one alcoholic beverage was found inside the car.

It’s unclear the circumstances behind the beverages but Didone told reporters, “The bottom line is that they had access to alcohol.”

Sources say the driver’s BAC was over .10.

Didone “These are good kids who made a bad decision”

Wootton High School released the following statement Friday afternoon:

Dear Wootton Community,

As many of you might have seen on the news this morning, we have had a tragedy in our community. Two of our students were killed and two others injured in a car accident early this morning. Wootton will be open to our students and families on Monday, June 29th from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm to help our community begin to cope with this tragedy. We will have our counseling staff, grief counselors, and other personnel available to our students on Monday. We will also post information about talking to your children about death on our website.

As we receive more information about funeral services, we will post the information on our website as well.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families involved in this tragedy.

Michael Doran. Ed.D

Principal.

Wootton High School.

Neighbor Sandy Gordon woke up to a loud noise on Friday morning. He found his fence destroyed and trees damaged in front of his Dufeif Mill Road home. But it wasn’t until he looked at his neighbor’s house that he realized what had happened.

Gordon spoke of the young victims. “One of the boys was standing up and said we really need help. There was one boy inside trying to move. He finally got out. The two in the back did not,” said Gordon.

Less than 24 hours before this crash and 100 feet away, another crash happened. “The one the night before cleared that fence right there,” said Gordon.

That one was not fatal but Gordon and his neighbors are fed up. He told us, “We need a guardrail. I don’t know what to do about speeding.”

Police want to hear from anyone who has information about this fatal crash. If you have any information, please call the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620. You can remain anonymous.

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department-Collision Reconstruction Unit are investigating a single vehicle, double-fatal collision that occurred late last night in North Potomac.

At approximately 11:52 p.m., the Emergency Communications Center (9-1-1) received a call for a collision in the 13800 block of Dufief Mill Road. Officers responded to the scene and determined that four people had been in the vehicle at the time of the collision. Two vehicle passengers were declared deceased at the scene. Two additional vehicle occupants, to include the driver, were transported to a local hospital, both with serious injuries.

Preliminary investigation indicates that a blue 4-door sedan traveling north in the 13800 block of Dufief Mill Road, left the roadway and struck a tree. The vehicle came to rest in the front yard of a home on Dufief Mill Road.

Detectives are investigating speed and alcohol as possible factors in this collision.

The ages and identities of the driver and occupants of the vehicle will be released once family notifications have been completed.

This collision remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620. Callers may remain anonymous.

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