LANDOVER, Md. - The family of a man accused of causing a multi-vehicle crash that killed a woman in Landover Thursday morning is speaking out exclusively with FOX 5.
According to his family, 34-year-old Juan Sanchez is out of the hospital Thursday night and is being held in police custody. Maryland State Police said he was driving on a suspended license and there was a warrant for his arrest. According to police, that stemmed from a DWI arrest in 2014.
According to Sanchez's sister, he was on his way to his job where he works for a pipe and sewage removal business at around 9 a.m. when the crash happened at the intersection of Largo Road (Route 202) and Lottsford Road.
Sanchez's blue pickup truck was heading southbound on Route 202 when he collided with a red GMC pickup truck that was being driven by 53-year-old Angela Jefferson.
It was a violent crash that caused the rear bed of the GMC landing in the roadway and the steering wheel with the airbag deployed separated from the vehicle and landing in the grass.
Jefferson was trapped inside and it took firefighters a bit of time to cut her out. However, she did not survive and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The crash set off a chain reaction involving seven other vehicles and at least three other people were also taken to the hospital.
While witnesses at the scene said Sanchez was driving recklessly, police have not confirmed that. Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the crash.
Maria Sanchez said her brother suffers from epilepsy.
“I got a call from his girlfriend that he didn’t feel well and he was going to get his medicine when this happened,” she said. “It’s not something that he planned or he was recklessly driving and just flew on the street and hit these people. We don’t know, in fact, if this is what happened because we haven’t even talked to him.”
The suspect’s sister said it is possible that he was having a medical emergency at the time of the crash.
“Don’t judge until they know what is going on for real. I know they are investigating and I know the truth will come out. But it is not something that he was recklessly driving because of this or that. We think that he might have had a seizure at the time.”
Maria Sanchez said her brother had been working to clear up his prior situation with police. However, charges are now pending against him after police said he was driving without a license and was wanted on an outstanding arrest.
Distraught family and friends gathered at Jefferson’s home Thursday night, but declined to talk to the media.
"We are very sorry for what happened," said Sanchez's sister. "We understand how they might be feeling. I'm sure he didn't mean for this to happen, but it was an accident. It was an accident and I'm sure he probably feels like he would rather be the one that died than this other person because it's terrible. We are feeling really bad too because we don't know what's going to happen."
Police are asking for anyone who witnessed the crash to come forward and contact them.