BETHESDA, Md. (WJZ)—The New Year kicked off to a tragic start in Bethesda after two people were killed in an early Sunday morning car accident. 

Monique Griego has more on what happened and the victims’ identities which were just released. 

Five people were inside a white SUV when investigators say the driver lost control, went off the road, through a fence and crashed into a tree— killing two passengers and seriously injuring the driver.  

It happened just before 3 a.m. Sunday on Jones Bridge Road near Lancaster Drive in Bethesda. 

“I was in bed and I heard loud screeching brakes. And then I heard like ‘bang,’ like the crumpling of metal, and I was just thinking ‘Oh my God. I hope no one gets hurt,’ but obviously they did,” said Nina Monck, Bethesda resident. 

Montgomery County Police identified the victims as Nicholas Clayton, 20, and Kaitlin Gallagher, 18. 

People who live near Jones Bridge Road say it’s no stranger to fatal wrecks. 

“The curves are deceiving because they don’t look severe, but they throw drivers off and they lose control of the car if they’re going a little too fast,” said Jutith Wortman, Bethesda resident. 

Now police are trying to piece together what could have caused such a horrific crash.  

“Speed, alcohol-related, distracted–all those could be factors in any collision and they’re certainly going to be looked at in any fatal collision, but I can’t speak about the specifics on this one,” said Captain Paul Starks, Montgomery County Police. 

The driver of the SUV was brought to Baltimore’s Shock Trauma in serious condition. The other two passengers had less serious injuries.


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