The driver of the BMW who was killed when her car crashed into a KFC restaurant in Landover on Monday night was allegedly caught speeding on the Beltway less than a month ago.
The crash happened at about 6:30 p.m. Monday when the car smashed through the large glass windows of the fast food restaurant at Sheriff Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Highway, Prince George's County Police say.
According to police, the driver, identified as 29-year-old Hellena Louise Smith, lost control while speeding down Martin Luther King Jr. Highway.
"It had to be doing about 100 miles per hour," one witness told ABC7 News.
Her friends say Smith loved her new BMW. She even posed with it for a Facebook photo, which to them makes her death in that car that much harder to take.
“She was a really good person,” says her friend who identified herself as Dawn. “Sweet, caring. I just can’t believe that this happened.
Smith was ticketed Jan. 22 for allegedly driving 91 mph in a 55 mph zone on the Capital Beltway, and was also driving on a suspended license with expired tags, ABC7 has learned.
Authorities say the BMW plowed into a parked car outside the restaurant.
"Our crime scene is very wide as a result of the flying debris," an officer said.
Tiane Wilson watched the whole thing happen. She said it started when Smith's car clipped a piece of metal protruding from a storm drain. She says that blew a tire in Smith's BMW.
“And when it blew out, the car just went and started flippin’ and flippin’ knocking over stuff,” Wilson says.
Smith was ejected from her car and killed instantly. A male passenger in her car and the driver of an SUV at the KFC suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Witnesses and police say Smith's car was far over the speed limit when it crashed.
Her friends say all they know is she loved life.
“We just seen her you know, she was always smiling,” says Dawn. “I can’t believe it.”