In a year marked by 26 fatal auto accidents, two more have brought the Charles County death toll to 32, nearly double the total 17 deaths in all of 2004.
The most recent accident occurred Tuesday night near St. Charles Parkway and St. Mark's Drive in Waldorf.
Bryson N. Jordan, 52, of Upper Marlboro was traveling north on parkway about 10:45 p.m. when his Toyota sport utility vehicle drifted off the left side of the road and struck a tree.
Jordan was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Charles County Sheriff's Office. Authorities said speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.
In the other recent Charles County accident, 1950s recording star Harold "Hal" R. Kalin, 71, died in a car crash at 2:19 p.m. Aug. 24.
Kalin was killed while trying to make a left turn from Billingsley Road onto northbound Route 5. His Chrysler PT Cruiser was struck by a southbound Honda Civic. Kalin and the driver of the Honda were taken to the Prince George's Hospital Center, where Kalin died. The other driver, Gary Wayne Chasles Jr., 33, of Mechanicsville, was treated for serious injuries.
In 1958, Hal and his identical twin brother, Herb Kalin, went to the top of the pop music charts with their song "When," Herb Kalin said.
"We wrote some songs and made demos and brought them to New York," Herb Kalin said. "But none of the small record labels would listen to us, so we decided that we should try the big labels. We went to Decca [Records], and they not only listened to the demo but asked us to audition."
In late 1957, they formed the Kalin Twins.
The group appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1958, "The Merv Griffin Show" in 1960 or 1961, and on "American Bandstand" 30 times from 1958 to 1965, Herb Kalin said.
As Hal Kalin's music career wound down in the late 1960s, he went to college in Washington and ended up working as supervisor in the traffic branch of Superior Court in the District, Herb Kalin said.
Hal Kalin was just returning from running errands when he was killed.
Until the week of the crash, the two brothers continued to sing at Moose lodges, Elks lodges and nightclubs in the area. Sometimes their younger brother, Jack Kalin, would accompany them on saxophone.
Herb Kalin said he is not sure he will ever want to take up the act now that his brother is gone.
"For the first time in my life, I'm not a twin," he said. "That's lonely and difficult to communicate. I can't communicate with other people the way I communicated with my brother. . . . The most painful part of this week has been not being able to talk about his death."
Earlier the same day, Cynthia L. Francis, 19, of Hollywood was killed in an accident that occurred after she had driven almost 12 hours from Florida.
At 7:16 a.m., her car crossed the yellow line on Route 234 near Pincushion Road in St. Mary's County and was hit by a tractor-trailer.
Francis's friend Nicole L. Barrows, 19, and Barrows's infant daughter were passengers in the car.
Barrows was flown to Washington Hospital Center, where she was treated and released. Her daughter was not seriously injured.
The three had driven almost 700 miles when the accident happened, said John Francis Sr., the victim's father.
He said they had been visiting the father of Barrows's baby just south of Jacksonville, Fla.
"The father didn't want them to leave, because it was 7:30 p.m. and she would be driving all night," Francis said. "But she [Francis] was scheduled to work the next morning, and she took her work obligations very seriously."
Francis graduated from Leonardtown High School and was taking a year off to "just be with friends and family," her father said. She wanted to be a child psychologist and was in the middle of reading the latest Harry Potter book, he said.
John Francis Sr. said that in the midst of the tragedy, there was one "miracle."
Around 4 a.m., Francis and Barrows had stopped and moved the child safety seat from behind the driver's seat to behind the passenger's seat. They also put pillows and blankets around it, Francis said.
This may have saved the baby's life.
"She only had one little scratch on her hand," he said. "She came out of it the best, by the grace of God."
Last week, police released toxicology test results from a triple fatality in July.
The report showed Jason T. Pasternak, 22, of Waldorf had a blood-alcohol level of 0.09 percent -- slightly over the legal limit -- when his car veered off Bensville Road in Pomfret early July 24, said Lt. Randy Stephens, barrack commander of the Maryland State Police in La Plata.
The crash killed Pasternak and two of his friends, Mark E. Ryon Jr., 20, of Port Tobacco and Nicholas R. Falco III, 22, of La Plata.
Passengers Shawn M. Burnette, 19, of Port Tobacco and Kevin D. Jobe, 21, of La Plata were injured in the crash.