Driver in fatal River Road crash had prior reckless driving conviction

WASHINGTON — The 20-year-old driver involved in Saturday night’s fatal crash on River Road in which three family members were killed had been convicted in the past of speeding and reckless driving.

Ogulcan Atakoglu of Potomac pleaded guilty to speeding, unsafe lane change and reckless driving on Interstate 270 in April 2013. He was cited for driving 85 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. Later that year, in October, he was cited for violating Maryland law against spinning wheels for which he paid a $70 fine.

Last September Atakoglu was charged with negligent driving, failure to drive on the right half of the roadway and failure to obey traffic controls in Rockville. That case against him was dismissed. Also dismissed was a 2014 charge of possession of marijuana.

Atakoglu’s lawyer David Felsen says his client has not been charged in Saturday night’s fatal accident, which occurred at a turn on River Road at Pyle Road, where there is no traffic light.

“We’re quite confident that Mr. Atakoglu didn’t do anything incorrect in this circumstance. It is a tragedy, but Mr. Atakoglu was travelling straight, within the speed limit and the other car made a left in front of him,” Felsen says.

Felsen says Atakoglu is cooperating with police.

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