Sandy Spring, Md. four-vehicle crash injures 13, including 5 children

Scene of the minivan crash in Silver Spring. (Photo: WJLA?Kevin Lewis)

SANDY SPRING, Md. (WJLA) – Thirteen people, including seven children, suffered varying injuries in a four-vehicle crash along a two-lane Montgomery County roadway Friday afternoon.

The collision, involving a green Dodge minivan, black Chevy Tahoe SUV and two compact cars occurred around 2:30 p.m. along the 16900 block of Norwood Road, near its intersection with Excalibur Lane.

Based on a preliminary investigation, police say a tan Toyota Corolla was stopped along Norwood Road, waiting to turn left into the Sandy Spring Friends School, when a Mitsubishi Lancer rear-ended it. That impact rocketed the Corolla into oncoming traffic, where it struck the Chevy Tahoe head-on. The Tahoe then went careening off the roadway, coming to a rest on its roof, but only after hitting the Dodge minivan.

"I just turned around to see if they were OK, and then the airbags deployed," Jasmine Alfaro, who was driving the Mitsubishi Lancer, told ABC 7 News.

Paramedics treated the six people riding in the two cars and SUV. None required hospitalization. The minivan was a different story. All seven occupants (two adults and five children) were badly hurt. According to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer, Maryland State Police helicopters transported two of the children (ages 6 and 11) from the scene with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.

The triage effort, crash reconstruction and subsequent clean-up effort kept Norwood Road shut down for nearly three hours. That closure hampered afternoon dismissal at Sandy Spring Friends School. Parents were directed to meet their children at the nearby Adventure Park at Sandy Spring.

"We heard horrible things while we were at the [school's Halloween] carnival. So, we were scared coming out, and then to realize that somebody we know was involved, it's really scary, really horrifying," Hilary Phillips, whose husband was driving the Toyota Corolla, said.

Phillips and a handful of other local motorists say they've repeatedly complained about the dangers of turning left off of Norwood Road and into Sandy Spring Friends School.

"The cars don't stop, but rather just buzz by you on the shoulder. Everyone's always afraid of getting clipped," Phillips added.

First responders highlighted that all 13 people involved in Friday's crash were properly restrained by a seat belt or car seat. That they say, kept everyone alive.

"[My son and younger brother] were screaming my name. I'm just so glad they had their seat belts on," Alfaro concluded.

Police placed gravel over portions of the roadway covered with gasoline and oil, and then re-opened Norwood Road to regular traffic around 5 p.m. It's unclear if anyone will be cited for the crash.

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