3 dead, 2 hurt in Rock Creek Parkway crash

Authorities say three people are dead after a crash Wednesday morning on Rock Creek Parkway.

The crash involved two vehicles and happened around 1:40 a.m. near the intersection of P Street in Northwest D.C.

According to U.S. Park Police, the driver of one of the vehicles involved in the crash fled a nearby traffic stop shortly before the collision was reported. Police later identified that vehicle as Lexus SUV, that had a man and a woman inside at the time of the traffic stop.

Officials say an officer initiated the traffic stop on Rock Creek Parkway south of Virginia Avenue, but the driver of the Lexus refused to pull over. They say the Lexus then drove off and crashed into a Honda sedan several minutes later. Officials say officers did not pursue the Lexus.

"If a vehicle flees a traffic stop, we have policies and procedures that guide our actions," said U.S. Park Police Sgt. Thomas Twiname at the scene. "Our officers are required to abide by those policies and procedures, and in this instance, the officer determined that the vehicle that fled did not meet the criteria for a pursuit and so they did not pursue the vehicle."

Police have not indicated what prompted the traffic stop.

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Police confirmed that the three men inside the Honda were killed. The two adults in the Lexus suffered what were initially reported as non-life-threatening injuries, however, it was later determined that one of the injured persons was in critical condition.

FOX 5’s Melanie Alnwick says witnesses reported hearing an odd boom sound around the same time as the crash. Witnesses also say other drivers at the scene were out of their vehicles trying to help those involved in the crash.

The crash remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call 202-379-4877.

FOX 5 confirmed that the Lexus involved in the crash has 44 outstanding tickets worth $12,300 with the District's Department of Motor Vehicles. According to the D.C. DMV website, 43 of the tickets are for speeding violations, and one of them is for running a red light.