Beltsville Man Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison After He Was Convicted After Trial of Involuntary Manslaughter, Reckless Driving, and Related Charges in Connection With a Fatal Crash on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway | USAO-MD

Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm today sentenced Christopher Andrew Smith, age 31, of Beltsville, Maryland, to 18 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving, driving without a license, and failure to place a child in a safety seat, in connection with a fatal car crash on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway on February 5, 2018, in which a three-year-old child was killed.  A federal jury convicted Smith of those charges on January 29, 2020, after a two-day trial.

The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Chief of Police Pamela A. Smith of the U.S. Park Police.

According to trial testimony and court documents, on February 5, 2018, Smith drove a 2011 Nissan Altima on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway accompanied by a male passenger in the front seat and the passenger’s three-year-old daughter in the back seat.  An eyewitness reported that Smith was driving at a high rate of speed when he attempted to pass the witness’s vehicle on the right shoulder, near the exit for Route 198.  Smith lost control of the vehicle on the shoulder then swerved into the left lane of the Parkway before crashing into a tree in the wooded median.  Smith was found partially ejected from the sunroof while the male passenger was found underneath the vehicle.  Both men sustained critical injuries and were evacuated by helicopter to hospitals for immediate treatment. The three-year-old girl was declared deceased at the scene.  She was not secured with a child’s safety seat or seatbelt. 

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the U.S. Park Police and the Anne Arundel County Fire Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hollis Raphael Weisman and Dwight Draughon, who prosecuted the federal case.

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