Pregnant woman lost unborn baby after Prince George's Co. crash

- A pregnant woman who was seriously hurt in a tragic crash in Hyattsville has lost her unborn baby, Prince George’s County police said.

Shortly before 5 p.m. Sunday, police were called to the 2100 block of Chillum Road for the report of a crash involving a pickup truck and a van from a nearby church, which was carrying 16 people.

The driver of the pickup truck and three occupants in the van were pronounced dead at the scene, police said. An injured pregnant woman in the van had to have emergency surgery and lost her baby. She was in the late stages of pregnancy, said Julie Parker, a spokeswoman for the Prince George's County Police Department.

Police said the pickup truck had been involved in a hit-and-run crash with a car on Chillum Road. Moments later, the driver lost control and struck the church van, police said. After colliding with the van, the truck burst into flames.

The 14 injured victims range from 6 months old to several people in their 70s. Their conditions range from minor to critical. Their identities have not been released. 

The pastor of the church whose van was involved in the crash says the three passengers killed were a married couple in their 70s and a 6-year-old girl.

Jose Santos Jimenez is pastor of Iglesia Ministerio de Dios Unido, a small, evangelical congregation. The victims were on their way to a service at the church when the pickup hit the van.

Santos says through a Spanish language translator that he rushed to the hospital after getting word of the crash and he spent most of Sunday night and all of Monday visiting with the injured members of his congregation.

Santos identified the married couple who died as Santiago Merche and his wife, Elba Merche. He said they were natives of El Salvador. Santos describes the girl who died as a "good girl," who "prayed for other kids" and "danced for the Lord."

At the crash scene Monday, charred debris was strewn across the sidewalk, along the curb and in a small front yard of a two-story, brick house where the wreckage came to rest.

Police said it is not clear why the pickup's driver kept going after the initial crash. Speed and the use of alcohol and other substances are being considered as possible factors.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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