This story was updated at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 27, 2014.
Montgomery County Police believe speed played a part in a Gaithersburg crash that killed one teenager and injured four more Friday afternoon.
Washington, D.C., resident Teressa Rosalind French, 16, suffered life-threatening injuries and died at a local hospital later that day.
William French, Teressa’s father, said the Covenant Life School sophomore was a “thoughtful and caring young girl.”
“[She] believed in God, and believed in Christ, and we know she’s in heaven right now,” he said.
County Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman Beth Anne Nesselt said crews were called to the 7400 block of Muncaster Mill Road in Gaithersburg just before 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.
Police said two cars were traveling north on Muncaster Mill Road, just past the Shady Grove Road intersection. At that point, the road merges from two lanes into one lane.
The two cars, a Honda Accord and a Chrysler Sebring, collided as the lanes began to merge. The Honda Accord, driven by 17-year-old Oscar Javier Fuentes of Gaithersburg, struck a utility pole. Seventeen-year-old Hugo Fernanda Da Silva Rompante of Gaithersburg drove the Chrysler Sebring, which crossed over the sidewalk, struck two female pedestrians and hit a tree, according to police.
Thirteen-year-old Emily Grace Lowe, a second pedestrian who was struck, survived, police said. She is in stable condition.
Both Lowe and French were students of the Covenant Life School in Gaithersburg, a block away from site of the accident. William French said the two girls were friends. His wife, Monika French, would drive her daughter to and from school each day.
Gaithersburg residents Johnny Allen Boykin, Jr., 19, and Keanu Ashton Lee, 17, were passengers in Rompante’s Sebring. Fuentes, Da Silva Rompante, Boykin and Lee all attend Magruder High School, according to police.
Contact information for relatives of Fuentes, Lee and Boykin was not available. Rompante’s family declined to comment. The Lowe family could not be reached through a listed number, but spoke out through a blog post on Covenant Life Church’s website.
“[Emma’s] road to recovery is expected to be a long one,” the blog post said. “While we covet your prayers, it is best that Emma does not have visitors right now so that she can get the rest she needs.”
The Covenant Life community held a vigil for Teressa and Emma on Sunday.
A private funeral is scheduled for Teressa on Jan. 30 at a chapel at Fort Myer in Arlington, Va.