5 children, ages 5 to 15, killed in Maryland minivan crash

Credit: Kenn Kiser / Freeimages.com

Credit: Kenn Kiser / Freeimages.com

Five children are dead and two adults injured after a minivan crashed into a wooded area off U.S. Route 301 in Maryland, authorities said Saturday.

According to Maryland State Police, the crash occurred before 5 a.m. Saturday when a 2005 Chrysler Pacifica carrying five children and two adults went off the road near Pointer Ridge Drive in Prince George's County. The minivan "struck several trees and then began to spin" in a snowy field, police said in a news release.

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The children, who were in the back seats of the vehicle, were ejected and died at the scene, police said. They include Paris Dixon, 5; Rickelle Ricks, 6; London Dixon, 8; Zion Beard, 14; and Damari Herald, 15.

"Based on preliminary evidence, investigators do not believe the five children were properly restrained in the vehicle at the time of the crash," the news release said.

Driver Dominique R. Taylor, 32, of Bowie, and passenger Cornell D. Simon, 23, of Oxon Hill, were injured in the crash and are being treated at a nearby hospital, police said. Both had been wearing seat belts, the news release said.

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