Breaking News
More () »

'All of the victims deserve better' | Rock Creek Parkway crash victims were riding in Lyft, family says

A family member says the Lyft driver had just picked up two passengers when the deadly crash occurred.

WASHINGTON — Three men killed in a crash on Wednesday were riding in a rideshare when their car was hit by another vehicle reportedly fleeing from police

The deadly crash happened on Rock Creek Parkway just before 1:45 a.m. 

Prior to the crash, an officer for U.S. Park Police said they tried to make a traffic stop on Rock Creek Parkway just south of Virginia Avenue in Northwest, D.C. The driver of the Lexus SUV sped off and the officer did not follow the car, and instead cleared the traffic stop, according to U.S. Park Police. 

A short time later, a crash was reported near P Street in Northwest. It appeared the Lexus that was fleeing from police had crashed into a Honda Accord. 

Mohamed Kamara, 42, of Burtonsville, Maryland, Jonathan Cabrera Mendez, 23 of Arlington, Virginia, and Olvin Torres Velasquez, 22, also from Arlington were killed in the crash. 

The family of Kamara said he was working as a Lyft driver at the time of the incident and had just picked up the two passengers, identified as Velasquez and Mendez. 

"On my way to work he said, I don't like driving to D.C. I don't like driving in D.C. at all," said Mariam Kamara to WUSA9.  She says her cousin Mohamed would often complain about the reckless driving in the District. 

Due to the ongoing crash investigation, Kamara's family in Maryland has been unable to bury him in prompt manner as is required by their Muslim faith.  

"It's terrible. It's terrible cause Mohamed don't deserve that. Especially the kind of person that he is," said Mariam about her cousin's sudden and tragic death.  "All of the victims deserve better."

Kamara's family says he had been living in the U.S. for about four years and had recently purchased his car to continue his work as a rideshare driver.  He was planning to visit his wife and two-year-old daughter in his native Sierra Leone in April. 

WUSA9 reached out to Lyft and received the following statement: 

“This is an unspeakable tragedy and our hearts are with the victims' loved ones. We stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation and are working to get in touch with the victims' families to offer our support.” 

The man and woman who allegedly left the attempted traffic stop are still alive, according to police. 

The police department is asking anyone who may have been in Rock Creek Parkway at the time of the crash to contact their tip line by emailing uspp_tipline@nps.gov.

WUSA Reporter Rafael Sanchez-Cruz asked "How will you remember Mohamed?"

His cousin Mariam Kamara  replied, "As a good father, good brother, good cousin, good uncle, and best uncle ever. A hard working person who just wanted to make his life better and the life of his family better."

WATCH NEXT: 3 dead, 2 hurt in Rock Creek Parkway crash after driver flees traffic stop in DC

WUSA9 is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the WUSA9 app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.
Sign up for the Capitol Breach email newsletter, delivering the latest breaking news and a roundup of the investigation into the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021.

Before You Leave, Check This Out