Poolesville woman drives car into lake, dies

Monday, Aug. 14, 2006

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Brian Lewis⁄The Gazette
Sandra Smith’s car is pulled from Lake Churchill Monday morning. It was found about 75 feet from the shore of the Germantown lake.

A Poolesville woman died Sunday night when she maneuvered her car down a path and into Lake Churchill in north Germantown.

Sandra K. Smith, 44, of the 17400 block of Hughes Road, was found in her car about 10 p.m., two hours after passersby called 9-1-1.

At 8:07 p.m. police officers with the county’s Fifth District and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue units were called to the 20300 block of Wynnfield Drive at Shore Harbour Drive, just east of Little Seneca Lake and Black Hill Regional Park in the Churchill neighborhood, for the report of a car in the lake.

Fire and rescue personnel used boats and divers to search the water. Divers located the car about 9:45 p.m. with Smith’s body inside, according to Pete A. Piringer, a fire and rescue services spokesman.

She was pulled from the car and pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.

The preliminary investigation indicates that Smith intentionally drove into the lake, according to police. There was no sign of trauma to the body, they said.

The car was pulled from the lake about 10 a.m. Monday.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Montgomery County Police’s major crimes detectives at 240-773-5070.