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.