Investigators look over the front end of a car that was torn in half after it ended up in the median on Georgia Avenue following a fatal three-vehicle crash that killed three people. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

A Wheaton man, his 4-year-old daughter and the girl’s uncle were killed in a horrific three-car wreck late Sunday in the Wheaton-Glenmont area of Montgomery County, authorities and witnesses said.

Police are still investigating the crash, which occurred shortly before 10 p.m. on Georgia Avenue near Kayson Street.

“I was sitting here and watching the game when I heard a big boom,” said Thomas Clark, 52, who lives nearby on Kayson Street. “At first I thought it was thunder, but then I could see a car flash by out the window.”

Police said Salvador Lemus Ramos, 39, Felipe Pineda, 50, and Elizabeth Lemus, 4, all of Wheaton, died in the crash.

Ramos, who was driving a 2000 Nissan Sentra, was making a left turn from eastbound Kayson Street onto northbound Georgia Avenue when the Nissan was struck by two cars that were traveling south on Georgia Avenue, according to a preliminary police investigation.

Ramos and his three passengers, all family members, were thrown from the car, police said. Ramos died later at the hospital, and his daughter died at the scene. The girl’s mother, Elba Pineda, 31, was hospitalized and is in serious condition, police said.

Elba Pineda’s brother, Felipe, also died at the scene, police said.

The drivers of the other two cars also were hospitalized. Police said Shaka Wakefield, 25, was driving a Volkswagen Passat and Audias Sanchez, 35, was driving a Chevrolet Camaro. Both are from Wheaton.

Clark said he saw two people lying in the street, a man and a woman, on Sunday night and that both were alive. He could also see the girl, still alive and strapped to a baby seat.

“The impact was so bad that it tore the back end of the car apart,” Clark said. “It was terrible.”

Mary Pat Flaherty contributed to this report.