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Two dead, one seriously injured in Columbia when car struck a tree

A driver and a backseat passenger are dead after their car left the roadway in Columbia around 2:30 a.m. Sunday and hit a tree, according to Howard County Police.

The victims have been identified as Eric Mutilu, 27, and Ali Mursal Ali, 26, both of Columbia.

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The front seat passenger, Jovan Roberts, 25, of Baltimore, is in critical condition after being taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

Police said the Mazda3 was traveling north on Snowden River Parkway past Good Hunters Ride near Tamar Drive when it left the roadway for an unknown reason and struck a tree in the median. Mutilu and Ali were pronounced dead at the scene.

Preliminary investigation shows speed was a factor.

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