Thomas J. Rawlings Sr., 39, and his wife, Catherine Rawlings, 39, were fatally injured Sunday night in a three-car accident on U.S. Route 50 in Annapolis. Their 5-year-old son, Clinton, and eight persons were injured in the wreck.

Maryland State Police said the car Mr. Rawlings was driving was struck head-on by a car containing five passengers driven by Douglas Paul Gilmore, 17, of Severa Park. Police said Gilmore's car apparently ran out of control and crossed a concrete divider before striking the Rawlings' automobile. The Rawlings' automobile. The Rawlings' car was then struck by a third vehicle, driven by Stephen Celestine, 18, if Fairfax.

The accident occurred about 11 p.m., the state police said. They said their investigation was continuing.

Mr. Rawlings died Sunday night at Anne Arundel General Hospital in Annapolis. Mrs. Rawlings died Monday at the Shock Trauma unit in Baltimore.

Clinton Rawlings was flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he was undergoing treatment.

The Rawlings, who were married in 1961, lived in Oxon Hill and were members of St. John's Catholic Church in Clinton. Mr. Rawlings was active in the Allentown Boys and Girls Club in Fort Washington, Md.

He was a native of Brandywine, Md., and lived in the Washington area all his life. He worked in the mail room at The Washington Star newspaper for about 15 years. Since January 1980, he had worked in the mail room of The Washington Post. In newspaper parlance, mailers are the persons who bind papers in bundles and load them on to delivery trucks.

Mr. Rawlings also had owned and operated the Clinton Carry Out on Brandywine Road in Clinton for about three years.

Mrs. Rawlings was a native of Washington and a graduate of the Notre Dame Academy. She spent a year as a secretary with the State Department in the early 1960s and had been a statistician with the Census Bureau since 1970.

In addition to their son, of Oxon Hill, the Rawlings are survived by another son, Thomas J. Jr., and a daughter, Yvonne, both of Oxon Hill.

Mrs. Rawlings is also survived by her mother, Mary Sheehan of Gaithersburg; two brothers, Mike Sheehan of Annapolis and Jack Sheehan of Waldorf, and sister, Teresa Baldesari of Waldorf. Mr. Rawlings is survived by his mother, Ethel Rawlings of Oxon Hill.