MARYLAND

Nicholas Scott Clayton, Kaitlin Marie Gallagher killed in Bethesda crash

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Dozens of grieving friends and family of 18-year-old Kaitlin Gallagher, known to many as Kiki, gathered Monday where she and 20-year-old Nicholas Clayton lost their lives.

The crash killed two people and injured three others early New Year's Day. On Monday, people held a vigil for one of the victims. (Photo: Kris Van Cleave)

They were among the five young people in an SUV when it careened off Jones Bridge Road early Sunday morning, slamming into a tree.

“The last memory I remember of Kiki is her telling me it’s not time to die yet, so how come a person who is trying to take their life lives and she wakes up dead the next day,” says Elena Young.

People living in Rockville's Parkway Woods neighborhood said Clayton was well-liked. He was a huge Redskins fan and had a part-time job at FedEx Field, friends said. Recently though, he had suffered several hardships.

About six months ago, Nick's mother died and he lost a brother years ago. Neighbors said his dad left to move to Florida. And three days ago, his house had been condemned since he had been unable to pay the bills since his mother died.

Conor Hayes, 18, survived the crash. Injured, he came to the vigil but his family declined to speak on camera.

But the pain many are feeling doesn't require words. They were mourning for their friends and Gallagher's unborn child. Friends say she was in her second trimester.

Police are now investigating reports the group was heading home from a party. But detectives are not yet able to say if the driver, 22-year-old Roderick Brice, had been drinking.

“At this scene, there were empty and full alcoholic beverage containers in the car,” says Montgomery County Police Captain Paul Starks.

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