It began as a minor traffic accident, one female motorist bumping into the car of another woman on a busy street in the Fairmount Heights area of Prince George's County about 10:15 p.m. Monday.

Words were exchanged. Then one or two women who were in the car that was hit assaulted the other motorist, according to police. After the altercation moved into the street, the victim was struck by a car, police said. The confrontation left the victim dead, and now one of her alleged attackers is under arrest.

Yesterday, Prince George's police charged Tamika Lawson, 24, of the 600 block of Tewkesbury Place NW in the District with involuntary manslaughter. Lawson was being held in Prince George's in lieu of $250,000 bond, officials said.

Police were attempting to determine the identity of the victim yesterday. She did not have any identification with her, and police are hoping that her fingerprints will lead them to her identity. The confrontation occurred in the 5300 block of Sheriff Road, a busy street near the District border.

Details were sketchy, but investigators believe that the victim drove into or near the drive-through lane of a barbecue carryout restaurant. She apparently bumped into another car, and one or two women in that car jumped out and started yelling at her. At least one started assaulting her, police said.

The assault spilled into the street, said Capt. Andy Ellis, a police spokesman. The victim was beaten and left in the street, Ellis said. A passing car hit the victim, and the driver of the car stopped and tried to help her, as required by law, Ellis said. The driver was interviewed by detectives and not charged, he added.

The victim was dead at the scene.

Ellis declined to say whether police were looking for a second suspect but did say that the case remained "an active investigation."