Silver Spring doctor struck and killed by own vehicle in DC car theft

A Silver Spring, Maryland, doctor serving residency at MedStar Washington was struck and killed by his own vehicle during a car theft turned hit-and-run in Northwest D.C. on Tuesday night, D.C. police said.

According to authorities, the suspect entered Dr. Rakesh Patel’s unoccupied car around 8 p.m. in the 1800 block of Vernon Street NW near the intersection of 18th Street and Florida Avenue.

The suspect tried to flee the scene in the car and struck Patel, 33, before making a getaway.

D.C. Fire and EMS pronounced him dead at the scene.

“We are heartbroken to learn of the sudden passing of Dr. Rakesh (Rick) Patel,” Medstar said in a statement. “He served his residency here, had completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases, and was currently training as a Critical Care fellow. Dr. Patel will be greatly missed.”

Police said shortly before 2 p.m. that they had recovered Rakesh’s stolen Mercedes.


Anyone who has knowledge of this incident should call police at 202-727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s TEXT TIP LINE at 50411.

Below is a map of where it happened.

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Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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