A Southeast Washington man has been indicted on charges of negligent manslaughter and driving under the influence in a crash that left three women and two children dead in Prince George’s County last fall.
Toxicology reports showed that Kenneth Kelley, 26, had a blood alcohol content nearly twice Maryland’s legal limit for driving when his Mercedes-Benz slammed into the back of an Acura on Livingston Road in Oxon Hill on Oct. 10, prosecutors said in announcing the charges Wednesday.
Sisters Typhani Wilkerson, 35, and Tameika Curtis, 32, along with 13-year-old Khadiua Ba and 1-year-old Hassan Boykin were passengers in the Acura and killed after it was struck. Khadiua and Hassan’s mother, the driver of the Acura, was injured.
The collision also killed Dominique Green, 21, who was riding in the car with Kelley.
The crash was one of the deadliest reported in decades in Prince George’s and left Wilkerson’s and Curtis’s 10 children without their mothers.
“The kids are still struggling,” said Lloyd Curtis, the father of Tameika Curtis’s two oldest children.
Curtis was the mother of eight, including a newborn. Wilkerson had two toddlers.
The two sisters were returning home from running errands when the Acura stopped at a red light on Livingston Road near Livingston Terrace. About 9:40 p.m., the car Kelley was driving rear-ended the Acura at more than 70 mph, prosecutors with the county state’s attorney’s office said. The crash propelled the Acura into a wooden utility pole across the intersection, authorities said, and the pole was left splintered by the impact.
Kelley had a reported blood alcohol content of 0.14 at the time of the crash, prosecutors said. Maryland’s legal limit for driving is 0.08. He was indicted on 28 counts, including manslaughter, reckless driving, driving without a valid license and other related charges.
There is typically a lag between when a crash occurs and when cases are brought to a grand jury, said John Erzen, a spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office. Investigations for motor vehicle manslaughter cases are lengthy, involving accident reconstruction, toxicology reports and other evidence collection, he said.
“We bring strong cases into court that have gotten us a number of convictions and have lead to lengthy sentences,” Erzen said of motor vehicle manslaughter charges that the county pursues.
A warrant was issued for Kelley’s arrest after he was indicted in May, but he had been eluding authorities, said Sharon Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies had stopped at his mother’s house looking for him, but the woman told them her son knew authorities were trying to find him, Taylor said.
Deputies with a U.S. Marshals task force tracked down Kelley last month after they learned that he was supposed to meet his probation officer in the District, Taylor said.
Kelley is in jail with bond set at $500,000, prosecutors said. A trial has been set for January.
Keith Lotridge of the public defender’s office in Prince George’s said he could not comment on Kelley’s case but said the office’s attorneys will be investigating the matter.
Lloyd Curtis said the children were devastated by their mother’s death. They missed her over Thanksgiving and Christmas, he said, but they also missed her during relatively routine events, such as the first day of school.
“It’s going to be tough with the one-year anniversary coming up,” Lloyd Curtis said. “Life is still a struggle . . . but we’re making it happen.”
Dana Hedgpeth and Peter Hermann contributed to this report.