This story was updated on Dec. 14, 2012.
A driver died and two passengers were injured early Thursday morning when the car he was operating left Gambrill Park Road and struck a tree, bursting into flames, according to Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.
The 2003 Dodge Neon, driven by 22-year-old Jonathan M. Horne, of Frederick, was traveling south on Gambrill Park Road south of Coxey Brown Road near Myersville at about 4:30 a.m. when it failed to make a turn and left the road before striking a tree and catching fire, a sheriff’s office news release said.
The two passengers, 25-year-old Philip L. Schmidt and 24-year-old Dean A. Wendig, both of Frederick, were able to exit the vehicle and call for help, but Horne could not get out and died at the scene, the release said.
Wendig was airlifted by helicopter to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, and Schmidt was taken by ambulance to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, the release said. Both continue to be treated.
Cpl. Jennifer Bailey, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said investigators haven’t determined whether seatbelts or drugs or alcohol played a factor in the crash.
“The car was significantly burned,” she said. “... Both of the passengers are going to be in the hospital for a while. The investigators have talked with them briefly, but aren’t going to speculate at this time.”
The sheriff’s office is asking anyone who witnessed the crash to contact Deputy Timothy Calimer at 301-600-4132.