Two killed in collision of stolen van, SUV

A 16-year-old burglary suspect driving a stolen van crashed head-on into a sport utility vehicle while fleeing police yesterday morning in Charles County, killing his teenage passenger and the other driver, authorities reported.

The young suspect was treated at Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly for injuries that were not life-threatening, and detained by police with charges pending, said Maj. Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman.


The pursuit began about 9:30 a.m. when a resident of a housing development in the community of Pomfret saw a group of people trying to break into a home and called police, Shipley said.

The group fled in two vans. One crashed soon afterward, and its four male occupants jumped out and ran away, Shipley said. The other van was eastbound on Route 225 when it was spotted by a state trooper who took up pursuit.


The van - which never traveled faster than the posted speed limit of 50 mph - veered into the westbound lane while rounding a turn near Whispering Lane near La Plata and collided with a 2001 Mercury Mountaineer SUV, he said.

The lone occupant of the SUV, Cynthia L. Chester, 50, of Indian Head in Charles County, died en route to Civista Medical Center in La Plata, police said.

The passenger in the stolen van - a 16-year-old from Washington - was declared dead at the scene. His name was withheld pending notification of family members, police said.

The youth driving the van also was not named by police.

Police said the four who fled from the first van later stole a 1997 Toyota that was pursued by police into Washington - despite two of its tires having been deflated by stop sticks set up on Route 5 at Auth Road, near the Capital Beltway in Prince George's County.

At Naylor Road near Suitland Parkway in Washington, the Toyota crashed, and two of its occupants were captured by pursuing troopers and U.S. Park Police officers.

The other two were being sought.