LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Nov. 10, 2008)—Nicole Yelena Pitonyak, 17, of Brandywine, Charles County, died in a single car accident near Charlotte Hall on Sunday at approximately 3:18 p.m. Pitonyak was pronounced dead at the scene. A 16 year-old female passenger from Waldorf was flown by Trooper 7 to Prince George's County Shock Trauma where she was listed in critical condition.
Police say Pitonyak was driving a blue 2004 Ford Focus southbound on MD Route 5, just north of the intersection of Route 5 and Route 6, when she lost control of the vehicle and drove off the roadway into the center median where the car struck a tree.
A witness on the scene told police that the Ford Focus may have been traveling side-by-side with a small silver vehicle at a high rate of speed just prior to the crash occurring. However, police say their follow-up investigation revealed no indication of "drag racing." Police say that speed is believed to be a factor in the accident.
The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Collision Reconstruction Team is continuing the investigation.
Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call the Deputy First Class Timothy Reese St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office at 301-475-4200, extension 9115.