LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — A fiery, single-car accident has killed one person, injured a police officer and closed Martin Luther King Junior Highway in Springdale Monday afternoon, police and fire officials said.
Preliminary investigation shows that a Mercury Mountaineer was traveling westbound near Whitfield Chapel Road at about 12:40 p.m. when it hit a guard rail just before the beltway overpass. It careened sideways down the road until coming to a rest on the driver’s side on the overpass. It caught fire with the driver, 70-year-old Rodwell McNeill, Jr. of Glenarden, inside.
Prince George’s County fire and police personnel responded to the call.
A 21-year veteran with the Prince George’s County Police Department Intelligence Unit suffered burns to his face and hands while trying to help and was taken to the hospital for treatment. He sustained second-degree burns to his face and arms but is in stable condition, officials said.
A 23-year veteran patrol officer assigned to District III attempted to break the windshield but the intense flames forced him back. Despite the efforts of three officers, as well as an unidentified civilian, McNeill died in the fiery crash.
A county police officer who was at the scene called the fiery accident the “worst crash he’s seen in 23 years.”
Police believe speed was a factor in the crash.
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