Speeding Kills Teen on Muncaster Mill

Covenant Life School sophomore Teressa Rosalind French was killed in a speed-related collision Jan. 24 when she was walking home from school on a sidewalk off Muncaster Mill Road.

Two cars collided with one another, sending one car onto the sidewalk. The collision occurred where Muncaster Mill Road merges into a one-lane road.

Thirteen-year-old Emily Grace Lowe of Gaithersburg, who accompanied French, was critically injured while three othersa��including the two drivers and a passengera��were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The two drivers attend Magruder HS and were suspected to be drag racing, according to Montgomery County Police.

One third of all car crashes, injuries and fatalities are speed-related in Maryland, according to Toward Zero Deaths, a Maryland Highway Safety program dedicated to preventing risky driving behaviors.

Adverse weather conditions may have also played a role in the crash as speeding reduces the driver ability to steer safely around the roadway.

“Since our school is so small it’s affected almost all of us in some way,” Covenant Life School senior Nate Lotinsky said. “Before the accident I never really thought about the dangers of drag racing and how much of an effect it can have if something goes wrong. It was definitely an eye-opener for me and everyone else in my school.”

On Feb. 1, 2009, passenger Thiago Andrade, a RHS junior, was killed in a car crash on Veirs Mill Road. Although police did not report whether speeding or racing were legitimate factors, witnesses reported the car had been traveling fast when it hit a curb and flew down into an embankment, according to Montgomery County Police. The crash also critically injured the driver, Johvanny Garmendez of Silver Spring, Md.

According to the Gazette, a former RHS student and friend of Andrade posted on his Facebook memorial page, “I remember I always told you not to race because I was scared one day I’d get a phone call saying that you died in a speeding related accident a�� yet I did.”

Traffic fatalities in Montgomery County have risen from 28 deaths in 2012 to 31 throughout 2013. Excluding Frederick, Calvert, Caroline, Queen Anne’s and Wicomico counties, the remaining 18 counties decreased or remained constant in traffic-related fatalities. Overall, fatalities in the state of Maryland alone have dropped 16 percent since 2012.