Backlick Road crash leaves three dead

The accident scene. (Photo: WJLA)

People are in mourning after three people were killed in a vehicle crash on Backlick Road Wednesday night.

Fairfax County Police have identified two of the victims in the crash as 39-year-old James A Cetto II of Dale City and 52-year-old Katherine F. Miller of Springfield. The third victim, a passenger in Cetto's car, was only identified as a 41-year-old man.

The Toyota pickup truck that was traveling southbound with Cetto and a passenger inside crossed the median and struck a Jeep Cherokee and an Oldsmobile sedan, according to police. Miller, who was driving the Jeep Cherokee, died at the hospital.

A 47-year-old man in the Oldsmobile was released at the scene after being checked by medical personnel. Police say collision reconstruction detectives are investigating. Backlick Road will be closed while Fairfax County Police investigate.

Friends and family describe James Cetto, 39, as a self-made man. He built a small furniture refinishing company from nothing. He loved to play the drums and had three sons.

Police said Cetto, for unknown reasons, swerved across the median and into oncoming traffic.

Family members were too upset to talk. His good friend, Eric Currier, died beside him in the passenger seat.

Police said neither man was wearing a seat belt. Authorities are investigating to see if speed or alcohol were factors in the crash.

The crash also took the life of 52-year-old Katherine Miller, who was hit head-on. She lives in Springfield. Neighbors said she was a mother to two children.

“You could hear her teaching her daughter to play piano, and her calling her dog, Moon, and just the love of a family,” said neighbor Reverend Pat Green. “The small things.”

Neighbors say she recently bought her 19-year-old son a truck. She was also described as a church-going woman who sold health products and cleaned the homes of elderly folks.

“Her and her daughter were inseparable. Like two twins. Off the church every Sunday, happy,” Green said. “I'm feeling the pain. Kathy was a great neighbor, she's a great friend, a great mom, and a great wife.”

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