News Release, Maryland State Police

Oxon Hill-As the investigation continues into the fatal crash yesterday afternoon on the Capital Beltway in Prince George’s County, investigators are providing an update with the identifications of those involved.

The deceased victim is identified as Leelete Andargie, 2, of Oxon Hill, Md. She was transported from the scene by the Prince George’s County Fire Department to Children’s National pediatric hospital, where she was later pronounced deceased.

The preliminary investigation has determined Leelete Andargie was restrained in a forward facing child safety seat, in a 2017 Toyota Camry, driven by her father, Assegid A. Damena, 46, of Oxon Hill. Also in the vehicle in the right front seat was her mother, Sisaynesh B. Abetew, 33, of Oxon Hill, and her sister, Meklit Andargie, 5, of Oxon Hill, who was in a child booster seat in the right rear passenger seat. Meklit Andargie was transported to the Children’s National pediatric hospital for treatment of injuries.

Two other vehicles were involved in the crash. They were a 2017 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Nicole L. Williams, 37, of Waldorf, Md., and a Cadillac CTS, driven by Ronald J. Berry, 53, of Temple Hills, Md. Both Williams and Berry refused medical treatment at the scene.

Just after 5:30 p.m. yesterday, troopers from the Maryland State Police Forestville Barrack responded to the report of a motor vehicle crash with serious injuries on the outer loop of the Capital Beltway near Maryland Route 5 (Branch Avenue). Upon arrival, troopers found a three vehicle crash with multiple injuries. Prince George’s County Fire Department personnel responded to care for the injured.

The preliminary investigation indicates the Chevrolet Malibu driven by Williams was traveling northbound on I-495 when the driver failed to slow for stopped traffic and struck the rear of the Toyota Camry. The Camry, in turn, struck the rear of the Cadillac sedan driven by Berry. Heavy rain was reportedly occurring at the time of the crash, due to thunderstorms moving through the area.

All lanes of the outer loop were closed for several hours while Maryland State Police CRASH Team personnel reconstructed the collision. MDOT State Highway Administration CHART personnel also responded to assist with detouring traffic around the scene.

The investigation into the collision is ongoing and charges are pending. Alcohol is not considered a factor in the crash. The Maryland State Police remind motorists to always buckle up and to maintain a safe following distance from vehicles in front. Anyone with information about the crash may contact the Forestville Barrack at 301-568-8101.


Oxon Hill-A two-year-old child, who was transported to Children’s Hospital Trauma Center in Washington, D.C., with critical injuries following an evening rush hour collision, has passed away.

Just after 5:30 PM, the Maryland State Police Forestville Barrack was notified of a motor vehicle collision with serious injuries on the outerloop of the Capital Beltway near Maryland Route 5 (Branch Avenue). Upon arrival, troopers found a three-vehicle collision with multiple injuries. Among those injured was a two-year-old child who was unconscious and receiving medical treatment from family members and a witness on the scene. The child was transported to the hospital with critical injuries where they later passed away as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash.

On the scene, the investigation revealed that a black Chevrolet passenger vehicle was traveling northbound on I-495 when the driver failed to slow for stopped traffic and struck the rear of a white Toyota Camry. The Camry, in turn, struck the rear of a black Cadillac sedan. The two-year-old child was a passenger in the Toyota Camry. Two other passengers were transported to area hospitals with minor injuries. Prince George’s County Fire and EMS along with Maryland State Highway assisted Maryland State Police at the scene. All lanes of the outerloop were closed for several hours while Maryland State Police CRASH Team personnel reconstructed the collision and resulting outerloop delays extend into Virginia starting at Telegraph Road to Branch Avenue.

The investigation into the collision is ongoing and charges are pending. Alcohol is not considered a factor in the crash. The Maryland State Police remind motorists to always buckle up and to maintain a safe following distance from vehicles in front. Anyone with information about the crash may contact the Forestville Barrack at 301-568-8101.


Oxon Hill- The northbound lanes of the outer loop of the Capital Beltway are reopened following a serious evening collision that sent three people to the hospital. The three-vehicle collision caused an extended closure at Maryland Route 5 (Branch Avenue) as Maryland State Police CRASH team members conducted a collision reconstruction.

On the scene, the investigation indicated that a black Chevrolet Malibu struck the rear of a white Toyota Camry, which in turn struck the rear of a black Cadillac sedan. A two-year-old passenger in the Toyota Camry was transported to Children’s Hospital Trauma Center in Washington, D.C. in critical condition. Two other passengers were transported to area hospitals with minor injuries. Prince George’s County Fire and EMS along with Maryland State Highway assisted Maryland State Police at the scene.

The investigation into the collision is continuing and charges are pending. Despite the road reopening, outerloop delays extend from Virginia starting at Telegraph Road to Branch Avenue. Motorists traveling through the area should plan for delays and are encouraged to avoid the area by using alternate routes.


Oxon Hill-All northbound lanes on the outer loop of the Capital Beltway (I-495) are closed at Maryland Route 5 (Branch Avenue) as the result of a serious, personal injury collision involving 3 vehicles. Traffic is only getting by on the left shoulder. There is currently no timeline on the roadway reopening as the Maryland State Police CRASH team is on the scene to assist with the investigation. Heavy rains moving through the area are also hampering the collision reconstruction.

Initial investigation indicates that the collision involved three vehicles and three people were transported to the hospital including a toddler with serious injuries. Personnel from the Maryland State Police, Prince George’s County Fire and EMS, and Maryland State Highway are on scene for the investigation and cleanup.

Motorists traveling in the area should expect significant delays and are encouraged to avoid the area by using alternate routes. Additional information and updates will be provided as they are available.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...