Silver Spring woman fatally struck by car while crossing street in Wheaton
Accident took place Thursday at Georgia Avenue and Regina Drive
A woman was struck and killed by a car Thursday night as she was crossing Georgia Avenue in Wheaton, marking the second pedestrian traffic fatality to occur in the area within the last two weeks, police said.
Etsegenet Abebe Hurissa, 24, of the 13200 block of Holdridge Road in Silver Spring, was pronounced dead shortly after 10:38 p.m. Thursday by police and emergency rescue officials arriving at the scene near the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Regina Drive, said Montgomery County police officer Janelle Smith.
Just minutes before, Hurissa had been struck by a silver 2007 Volkswagen Eos that was headed north on Georgia Avenue. The driver, 18-year-old Carlos Andre Arias of the 4000 block of Chesterwood Drive in Silver?Spring, appeared to lose control of the vehicle shortly after striking Hurissa, leaving the roadway and careening through a wooden fence where he came to a stop in the backyard of a nearby house, Smith said.
Specialists from the department's Collision Reconstruction Unit remain uncertain what factors may have been involved in the incident or who may have been at fault, said Capt. Thomas Didone, commander of the department's Traffic Division.
"We're waiting for the investigation to really identify what circumstances may have led to this," he said. "It's just way too early to tell."
Both Arias and his passenger, 17-year-old Pool Bryan Ubillus, of the 13000 block of Daley Street in Silver Spring, remained at the scene with their vehicle and were taken to local hospitals with minor, non-life-threatening injuries. Arias was taken to Suburban Hospital and Ubillus was taken to Holy Cross Hospital, Smith said.
Part of the investigation being conducted by the Collision Reconstruction Unit will entail how fast the Volkswagen was traveling when Hurissa was struck, where Hurissa was attempting to cross Georgia Avenue and whether or not other factors such as alcohol or speed may have been involved, Smith said.
"There were several witnesses who stayed at the scene, so they may have some knowledge of [what happened]," she said. "That will be part of the Collision Reconstruction Unit's investigation as well. ... That investigation will probably take several weeks."
Less than two weeks earlier, 39-year-old Maria De la Paz was killed and her husband, 43-year-old Demetrio Gomez Sanchez, was injured as the couple was struck by a car while they were crossing Viers Mill Road between crosswalks near Centerhill Street in a hit-and-run shortly after 9:42 p.m. May 23.
Taking place a little more than three miles from the scene of Thursday's fatality, Collision Reconstruction Unit specialists are still investigating the causes that led to the May 23 death, Didone said.
Smith offered general advice for residents based on the knowledge that warmer weather tends to bring more and more people out of their homes and onto the county's roadways.
"As more people are out and about pedestrians and drivers need to take extra precautions to ensure everyone's safety," she said.
Police are standing by to receive calls from anyone who may have witnessed either of the recent pedestrian fatalities or who could provide additional information regarding what may have caused the events, Smith said.
The Collision Reconstruction Unit can be reached at 301-840-2435. Callers may remain anonymous.