Three people, including an elderly couple, were killed yesterday morning when two cars slammed head-on while traveling on a rural road in southern Anne Arundel County.
Police said both cars were crushed beyond recognition in the crash. It took firefighters about one hour to recover one of the bodies from the wreckage.
"It got to all of us," said Sgt. Larry Donaldson, who said the damage to both cars was among the worst he has ever seen.
Witnesses told police that both cars were traveling the speed limit, 55 mph, on Bay Front Road, near McKendree Road in Lothian shortly after 10 a.m. when a westbound 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity crossed the center line and hit an eastbound 1991 Honda Accord, killing the occupants of both cars.
The driver of the Chevrolet, Darlene Carol Flaherty, 27, of the 1200 block of Bannister Circle in Waldorf, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the Honda, Ray Leonard, 70, of the 5800 block of Rockhold Creek Road in nearby Deale, also was pronounced dead at the scene.
His wife, Leonore, 67, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Prince George's Hospital Center's shock-trauma unit.
Sergeant Donaldson said police do not know why Ms. Flaherty crossed the center line. Neither car left any skid marks.
He said police believe Ms. Flaherty was heading toward Route 4, which would have taken her home to Waldorf, when the accident occurred.