MILLERSVILLE, Md. (WJLA) -- Three people, including a teenager and a 7-year-old girl, were killed Tuesday afternoon in a violent six-vehicle crash in Anne Arundel County.
The crash happened just before 5 p.m. Tuesday on southbound Route 3 near Route 32 in Gambrills, officials say. Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis says five cars and a flatbed truck were involved in the wreck.
Anne Arundel County Police officials have identified the victims who died as Bethany Dawn Dempsey, 37, her 14-year-old daughter Lauren and 7-year-old Abigail Randi Cullen.
Bethany Dempsey is the daughter of the sheriff of King George County, Steve Dempsey. Lauren is his granddaughter. Abigail is his Bethany boyfriend's daughter.
The driver of the vehicle and boyfriend of Dempsey, 37-year-old Michael Thomas Cullen, is in critical but stable condition along with his 15-year-old son Bubba, who was also sitting up front. Abigail, the 7-year-old who died, is his daughter.
All five victims are residents of Warsaw, Va., and the family was returning home.
Four other unidentified people suffered injures in the pileup as well.
According to authorities, all of the vehicles involved in the crash were traveling southbound on Route 3 and were approaching traffic when the flatbed truck involved rear-ended the Toyota Camry that the Dempsey, Cullen and their children were riding in.
That touched off a chain reaction with several other vehicles. Officials say the truck was traveling close to the posted 50 mph speed limit at the time of the collision.
"I just remember swirling around, turning around, a car coming to a stop, a truck coming by," the driver of a car beside the crash, who declined to be identified, described.
First responders were so distraught at the scene last night that a counselor was dispatched.
"My wife's seat broke -- she was in a lot of pain," crash victim and witness Jim Cox said. "They came by and said we can't get to her, we got worse. I said I understand.
"It's sad. We're fortunate," said Cox.