5 teens die in 3 car crashes in Montgomery County

Two Laurel youths are among those killed

September 27, 2004|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

Two Laurel teenagers were killed and a third was seriously injured late Saturday night when the car in which they were traveling ran off Route 198 in Burtonsville at a high speed and slammed into a metal light pole, Montgomery County police said yesterday.

The accident - still under investigation - was one of three fatal crashes involving teen drivers and excessive speeds in Montgomery during the weekend, police said. The crashes left five teenagers dead.

Killed in the accident Saturday night were the driver, Robert J. Middaugh, 17, of the 15600 block of Straughn Drive, and Michelle Timchalk, 17, of the 5900 block of Parkway Drive, who was riding in the front passenger seat. They were pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

A second passenger, Mary Kathleen Collins, 16, of the 6200 block of Brooklyn Bridge Road, was seriously injured and flown by helicopter to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

Police said Middaugh was driving a 2004 Pontiac GTO east on Sandy Spring Road (Route 198) when the crash occurred just before 11:30 p.m.

Early yesterday - about 90 minutes after the Burtonsville accident - two Montgomery County teenagers were killed near Poolesville when their car ran off West Willard Road and crashed into trees, police said.

Police had responded to reports of 10 cars drag racing on River Road at West Willard Road at 12:57 a.m. When officers arrived on the scene shortly after 1 a.m., they stopped several cars but others sped away.

An officer driving on West Willard Road on his way to the scene encountered four of the fleeing cars, two of which nearly hit his cruiser as they passed, police said. The officer turned around and followed the cars. Not long after, he spotted a wrecked 1991 Plymouth Laser on the side of the road.

The driver, Edward S. Monterroza, 19, of Damascus, and front-seat passenger, Elmer Alfredo Martinez, 18, of Wheaton, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Rear-seat passengers Rico A. Scott, 17, of Gaithersburg and Alvin E. Monterroza, 16, of Montgomery Village were taken to area hospitals with serious injuries, police said.

Police said Monterroza lost control of the Plymouth and it struck an embankment on the side of the road. The car went airborne and struck several trees before coming to a halt. The crash remained under investigation.

The other crash - also involving a single vehicle - occurred about 11:25 p.m. Friday in the community of Norwood, where a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta spun out of control on Norwood Road and hit a utility pole.

Killed was the 16-year-old passenger, Alicia Maria Betancourt of Silver Spring, who had been wearing a seat belt. The driver, Hersh Kapoor, also 16, of Olney, was flown to Shock Trauma with serious injuries, police said, adding that he had not been wearing his seat belt.

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