Baltimore Family In Mourning After I-83 Car Crash Kills 5-Year-Old Boy

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The accident killed a 5-year-old boy and inured his entire family. Police are reconstructing the events that caused it and looking into possible charges in the case.

Weijia Jiang has more on the crash victims and the investigation.

The victim’s older sister remains in stable condition at Johns Hopkins.  Their mother, Susan Owen, is the sister of Steve Kearney, a former aide for Governor Martin O’Malley. WJZ reached out for a comment, but Kearney declined, as the entire family continues to mourn.

On Thursday afternoon, a  state police crash team were piecing together a deadly crash that claimed the life of a 5-year-old Baltimore boy the day before.

Investigators shut down the ramp from Interstate 83 to the Inner Loop of the Beltway to reconstruct the scene, which unfolded just before 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Traffic came to a halt well into rush hour.

“A driver of a jeep Cherokee slammed into the back of what was stopped traffic. It was about a four vehicle pileup in which the first vehicle that was hit suffered the most injuries,” said Elena Russo, Maryland State Police.

That car was a mangled Acura sedan. Inside was the Owen family of South Baltimore.

Five-year-old Jake and his sister, 9-year-old Alexandra, were flown to Johns Hopkins. But an hour later Jake died.

Their parents, 47-year-old James Owen and 42-year-old Susan Owen, were also taken to the hospital.

Police identify the driver of the SUV that plowed into them as 23-year-old Devin Xavier McKeiver, who they say was speeding at the time.

Both children are enrolled in school at Federal Hill Preparatory–Alexandra, a fourth grader, Jake a kindergartner. On the school’s website the principal announced the news, and said the little boy’s calm spirit and charming smile will be missed.

WJZ spoke with the driver of the car that was in directly front of the Owens. He said even though it was a chain reaction, the impact for him was also hard.

Thirty-nine-year-old Joshua Auerbach says it happened in seconds.

“Just as I was coming to a stop because traffic slowed. It was easily the most horrific thing I’ve ever been involved in,” Auerbach said.

All three members of the Owen family remain at the hospital. They are all expected to recover.

So far no charges have been filed in this case. Police say drugs or alcohol did not play a factor in the accident–though they are investigating if texting did.

After the investigation is complete police will consult with the State’s Attorney to determine if McKeiver will face any charges.

  • Liberal Soldier

    If this Clown driving the SUV was texting I would hope he is charged with manslaughter for the death of the 5 year old. Texting in jail is not allowed.

  • Angry mom

    They ought to ban cell phones in cars completely. Even the people who are on the phone with an ear piece are a distraction. This boy should suffer the consequences of his actions. Make him serve a life sentence for taking te life of a 5yr old boy.

    • john

      shut up you dont even no the cause of the accident yet and you already blaming the kid for texting. you people are idiots

      • larry g

        straight on rear end into stopped traffic , no skid marks ,the idiot was texting

      • Amber

        Get a grip JOHN you psychotic. “Idiots,” indeed–it seems with a childish reaction such as yours, you would know.

        I agree cell phones should be banned and whether or not it played a part or not, there have been enough tragic and preventable traffic deaths because of texting and cell phone use.

        This kid should face serious prosecution for killing this little boy just for speeding and unsafe driving. If he was texting or on a cell phone, life in prison would not be out of line for a prosecutor to seek. Either way, I pray for the family and for the poor little boy.

  • Scotty S.

    I drive past that I83/ I695 junction daily and I’ll confirm that location is a potential death trap with 60 MPH traffic coming to a sudden stop in the blink of an eye. It’s just the result of a over capacity highway system that just can’t keep up with the population explosion in Maryland. All American cities will see these kinds of traffic bottleneck death traps increase as the population of America increases beyond its already 313,000,000.

    • Greg

      following the turn at that junction, there is easily a 3/4 mile stretch where people on 695 merge onto 83N, and the 83N folks can merge onto 695. I drive it every day, and am constantly amazed/aggravated by everyone’s insistence on merging right away and the traffic back up/near accidents that always occur there. There needs to be clearer entrance exit areas or ramps built to better handle the exchange of traffic.

  • larry g

    LOok at the pictures , straight on rear end because the a*8hole was texting

  • Phyll

    The child killed was my daughters classmate. And with a rear end collision like that I’m sure it was driving while texting. How do you just totally not stop with you see your coming into stopped traffic.

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