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Maryland State Police have identified the three people killed in a single vehicle crash discovered Tuesday in a wooded area in Timonium, Md., along the ramp from southbound I-83 to the outer loop of I-695, as three friends and roommates who lived in Fairfax.

Police identified the victims as Vignesh Ashokan, 23, Sharath Sudershanam, 24, and Moka Mallikarjun, 25. All three were pronounced dead at the scene. Shortly before 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Maryland State Police said officers at the Golden Ring Barrack were called by a driver who reported seeing something that appeared to be evidence of a vehicle crash in the wooded gore area along the ramp from southbound I-83 to the outer loop of I-695. Responding troopers walked back into the wooded area and found multiple pieces of a passenger car and the bodies of the three men, police said.

Investigators from the State Police Crash Team and the Criminal Enforcement Division responded to the scene. A cadaver dog team also responded to assist with a search to ensure all victims had been located.

Police said the preliminary investigation indicated that the vehicle, a 2012 Volvo S60 owned and driven by Mallikarjun, was southbound on I-83. Police said the car traveled onto the ramp to the outer loop of I-695 and, for unknown reasons, traveled off the left side of the roadway and entered the wooded area. Investigators determined the vehicle traveled about 300 feet off the roadway before striking a tree. The force of the impact was so severe that it caused the car to break into multiple pieces, police said.

State Police investigators determined the three men had been visiting friends at a home in Cockeysville. Police said their investigation revealed that around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, they decided to leave and travel back to the apartment they shared in Fairfax.

Investigators believe the crash occurred shortly after they left Cockeysville.

Police said a friend from Fairfax had filed a missing persons report with police there. Investigators believe the crash site remained undiscovered for so long because it was so far off the roadway and hidden by trees and brush.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Due to the significant damage to the vehicle that occurred on impact, State Police investigators said they believe speed was a factor in the crash.

The bodies of the three men were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore on May 14, where autopsies are pending, they said.

gmacdonald@fairfaxtimes.com