Five prince George’s county public Schools (PGCPS) teens were seriously injured after a student-involved crash near DuVal High School on Tuesday in Lanham, Maryland.
The collision occurred close to the school on Good Luck Road just after 11:50 a.m., Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Five students were in a vehicle, he said, and were on their way back to the school when “a vehicle exited from an adjacent driveway and struck that vehicle, causing it to spin and then have a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle in the opposite direction.”
Three of the students, who were in the back seat, were seriously hurt and immediately taken to a hospital.
“We are guardedly optimistic that all three of these young lives will continue,” Stawinski said.
None of the students involved were wearing seat belts, he said. Both the driver and front-seat passenger were spared from injury because of airbags.
“This accident was not even the fault, as far as we can tell, of the young drivers in this car,” said Angela Alsobrooks, county executive, at the news conference.
The chief, the county executive and Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Monica Goldson all urged parents to ensure their kids know the importance of using seat belts.
“I have a teenage driver so I can empathize with what those parents in the accident could be experiencing or thinking about, because I know it went through my heart,” Goldson said.
Per a preliminary investigation, Stawinski said, the backseat passengers “were at least partially ejected” from the vehicle.
The chief noted that accidents at lower speeds can have serious consequences. “We’ve lost police officers in 35 mph collisions,” he said.
When asked about why students might be out on the roads at that hour, Goldson said that some seniors have modified schedules allowing them to leave early for work or for classes at the University of Maryland or a nearby community college.
An investigation into the collision continues.