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Maryland State Police News Release

Driver Charged In Crash That Killed Two In Prince George’s Co.

(UPPER MARLBORO, MD) – After consultation with the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, Maryland State Police have charged a driver in connection with yesterday’s crash that killed two people on Crain Highway.

The driver charged is identified as Mark D. Austin, 35, of Brandywine, Md.  He is currently charged with two counts each of motor vehicle manslaughter and criminally negligent manslaughter.  While not immediately reporting any injury following the crash, Austin was later transported to MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center after complaining of discomfort.  Following an examination at the hospital, he was transported to the Prince George’s County Central Booking Center for processing and an initial appearance before a court commissioner.  During his initial appearance, he was ordered held without bond in the county detention center.

The deceased are identified as Michael Hethmon, 66, of the 8100-block of Croom Road, Upper Marlboro, Md., and a 49-year-old woman, also from Upper Marlboro.  Her name is being withheld, pending the location and notification of family.  Both victims were pronounced deceased at the scene by members of the Prince George’s County Fire Department.

Shortly after 12:30 p.m. yesterday, troopers from the Forestville Barrack responded to a call for a two vehicle crash on northbound Crain Highway at Croom Station Road in Upper Marlboro.  The Maryland State Police Crash Team responded and assumed the investigation.

The preliminary investigation indicates Austin was driving a 2019 Ford F-150 pickup northbound on Crain Highway approaching Croom Station Road when he failed to stop for a red traffic signal.  The Ford pickup drove into the intersection and struck a 2016 Subaru Legacy driven by the female victim, who was making a left turn onto Croom Station Road from southbound Crain Highway.

According to the preliminary investigation, the pickup struck the car in the passenger side door.  The force of the crash caused the car to rotate and strike the guardrail.  The pickup also rotated, overturned on its roof, and caught fire.  There were no reported injuries to Austin from the fire.

The preliminary investigation indicates speed, failure to obey a traffic control device and driver impairment were all factors in this crash.  Based on consultation with the state’s attorney’s office, additional charges are possible, pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.  A detailed crash reconstruction will be completed by the Maryland State Police Crash Team and presented to the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for review.

Due to the significant scene and fatalities involved, the northbound and southbound lanes of Crain Highway were closed in the area of the intersection with Croom Station Road.  Traffic was detoured around the scene by MDOT State Highway Administration personnel.  The roadway was reopened about 7:00 p.m. yesterday.  Additional on-scene assistance was provided by the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Prince George’s County Fire Department.

The investigation is continuing.


CONTACT:    Office of Media Communications –

Mark Austin