Media: The officer whose cruiser was struck by the drunk driver is available to speak with reporters today at noon at the new Public Safety Training Academy located at 8751 Snouffer School Road in Gaithersburg.
On Saturday, November 19, just before 11:00 p.m., two off-duty Montgomery County Police (MCP) officers were providing traffic control at a mosque on Spencerville Road (Route 198) in the area of Burtonsville Drive. An 84-year-old woman approached the officers and explained that her car’s engine had stopped and would not restart; her Pontiac Sunfire was on the side of eastbound Spencerville Road. One officer walked the woman back to her car while the other officer positioned his marked patrol cruiser behind the disabled vehicle and activated the patrol car’s emergency lights. The woman sat in the passenger seat of her car while the officers requested a tow truck.
During this time, a 2006 Kia Sedona traveling east on Spencerville Road rear-ended the MCP cruiser that had been positioned, with its emergency lights activated, behind the disabled vehicle. At the time of the collision, the assisting officer was in the driver’s seat of his cruiser. The force of the collision caused the police cruiser to collide with the disabled vehicle with the woman sitting in the passenger seat. Fire and Rescue personnel responded to the scene and assessed the conditions of all persons involved in the collision. All parties were released from medical treatment at the scene.
The driver of the striking vehicle (2006 Kia Sedona) was identified as Pedro Gaona Vera, age 56, of Laurel, Maryland. He was arrested and charged by MCP officers for driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Gaona Vera consented to a breath test which indicated a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of (.11). The legal BAC limit is (.08) in Maryland.
MCP continues to urge those who choose to drink alcohol to make the right decision and choose a sober driver for your ride home.
Cruiser Struck by Drunk Driver
Striking Vehicle (2006 Kia Sedona) – Driver was under the influence of alcohol
UPDATE: This post was updated on November 22 at 3:45 a.m. with drivers’ identities and vehicle information.
Detectives from the Montgomery County Police – Collision Reconstruction Unit are investigating a four-vehicle collision in Gaithersburg.
On Monday, November 21 at approximately 7:49 p.m., an off-duty Montgomery County Police officer reported that he had come upon a serious, four-vehicle collision on Airpark Road in Gaithersburg. Officers from the 6th District and Fire and Rescue personnel responded to assist. First responders located two male drivers associated with two different vehicles who had succumbed on the scene to injuries suffered in the collision.
Preliminary investigation revealed that Stephen Alexander Diaz, 27, of the 8200 block of Amity Circle in Gaithersburg, was traveling east on Airpark Road in a silver, 1999 Honda Civic CX, when for reasons still under investigation, the Honda crossed into the westbound lanes. The Honda that Diaz was operating struck two vehicles; a silver, 2002 Volkswagen Passat driven by George Thomas Carey, 67, of Farcroft Court in Laytonsville, and a gray, 2010 Toyota Prius driven by Farhad Gholami, 25, of the 5900 block of Serenity Lane in Derwood. A third westbound vehicle, a blue, 1997 Mercury Villager driven by Hong Z. Wang, 65, of the 22100 block of Ginger Tree Way in Clarksburg, also became involved in the collision. Stephen Diaz and Thomas Carey were seriously injured in the collision and succumbed to their injuries on the scene. Gholami and Wang declined treatment.
This collision remains under investigation. Anyone with information regarding this collision is asked to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240.773.6620.
Possible Biased-Based Vandalism to Home
Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – 3rd District Investigative Section are investigating a possible biased-based theft and vandalism that occurred at a residence in the Four Corners area of Silver Spring.
On Sunday, November 20 at approximately 7:22 a.m., 3rd District officers responded to a home in the 200 block of Williamsburg Drive for the report of a theft and vandalism. The preliminary investigation by detectives revealed that earlier that morning, the homeowner had discovered that a swastika had been spray-painted on the front storm door to his home. The homeowner also reported to detectives that an American flag, that had been hanging from a tree in his yard, had been stolen.
During the investigation, detectives determined that in late October, the homeowner had a “Trump/Pence” election sign stolen from the front yard of his home. Detectives also confirmed that on November 16, the homeowner reported to MCP that unknown suspect(s) had thrown eggs at his home. Detectives believe that the homeowner’s political affiliation may be the motive for these thefts and vandalisms.
Anyone with information about these thefts and/or the vandalisms is asked to contact the 3rd District Investigative Section at 240-773-6870. For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect(s). Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
What: Tomorrow, the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD), continuing an established community partnership with Lockheed Martin, is conducting an active assailant training exercise at Lockheed Martin Corporate Headquarters in Bethesda. Portions of Rockledge Drive in the area of the Lockheed Martin Corporate Headquarters will be closed for the duration of the training exercise.
When: Saturday, November 19, from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Where: Lockheed Martin Corporate Headquarters
6801 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda
With the start of the holiday season and the celebrations that occur during this time of the year, the Montgomery County Police Department continues to remind motorists to drive responsibly and choose a sober driver.
Tonight, November 18, officers from the Montgomery County Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, and Maryland Transportation Authority Police will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint. This enforcement is a component of the Department’s continuing effort to curb impaired driving and underage drinking. In addition to the scheduled checkpoint, Montgomery County Police Alcohol Holiday Task Force officers will be patrolling roadways tonight and will be devoting their full time and attention to detecting alcohol-related offenses.
The exact location of the checkpoint will not be disclosed in advance.
WHAT: Sobriety Checkpoint
WHERE: Undisclosed Location
WHEN: Friday– November 18 (beginning at approximately 10:00 p.m.)