A community is mourning the loss of three people after a horrific car crash in Aspen Hill.
A steady stream of visitors made their way to the Wheaton home of Salvador Lemus Ramos, 39, and his daughter, 4-year-old Elizabeth Lemus, Monday.
“In this situation, it’s hard,” says longtime family friend Alba Romero.
The father and daughter were killed in a violent crash on Georgia Avenue near Kayson Street late Sunday. A third person, 50-year-old Felipe Pineda, was also killed.
Police say Ramos was trying to make a left turn onto Georgia Avenue when two other cars slammed into his car. All four people inside Ramos' car were ejected, some as far as 30 feet.
It was the most horrific car crash Aspen Hill resident Thomas Clark has ever seen. He heard a series of loud bangs just before 10 p.m.
The impact was so powerful police say the car seat Elizabeth was in was ripped out with her still in it. Debris from the three vehicles involved littered the street.
“One person that realized there was a car seat there and she said ‘I think that’s a baby,’’ says Leon Sudberry.
One car was literally sliced in half with engines strewn across the road and front lawns. Route 97 was closed for more than seven hours. Initially, Leon Sudbury and others tried to prevent the victims from being run over.
"About 15 guys ran to try to stop the traffic," Sudbury says.
Police suspect speed may have been a major factor. Residents say this is not the first time they have witnessed a bad accident on this stretch of roadway.