HANOVER, Md. (WJZ) — Police are investigating a fatal accident in Hanover.
Officers responded to a report of a vehicle collision on Ridge Road near Furnace Avenue around 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The vehicle was occupied by five passengers and the driver. All of the vehicle occupants sustained severe injuries.
A 3-year-old boy was seated on the lap of the center, rear passenger and not in a child safety seat. Joseph Eugene Sutherlin was transported to St Agnes Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
All of the remaining vehicle occupants were transported by ambulance to the University of Maryland Hospital Shock Trauma Unit.
When officers arrived on scene they noticed the car lost control for an unknown reason and hit a tree.
Preliminary investigation determined that speed, reckless driving and driver error were contributing factors to the crash. Police say the severity of the injuries and the death of the child were the result of the non-usage of seat belts and a child safety seat.
The investigation is continuing.