Police: 3 killed in crash on River Road

WASHINGTON — Three people were killed and another person was seriously hurt in a crash in Montgomery County, Maryland on Saturday.

According to Montgomery County police and fire officials, the crash happened at around 7 p.m. in the westbound lanes of River Road, near Pyle Road and Braeburn Parkway. Two vehicles were involved.

In all, five people were hurt — two of them were trapped, Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer says.

Ogulcan Atakoglu, 20, was driving a 2016 BMW M235 when he struck a 2016 Chevy Volt with a family inside.Three of the family members died as a result of their injuries.

Michael Buarque De Macedo, 52, was driving the car. His son, Thomas Michael Buarque De Macedo, 18, was sitting up front. Michael De Macedo’s wife, Alessandra M. Buarque De Macedo, 53, was in the backseat with their daughter Helena Buarque De Macedo. Her age is not known at this time.

Helena Buarque De Macedo was transported to a local trauma center with life-threatening injuries. Atakoglu was taken to the hospital as well. His injuries were non-life-threatening.

Officials at Montgomery County Public Schools confirmed Sunday morning that Thomas De Macedo and his sister are students at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda.

River Road remained closed between Whittier Boulevard and Wilson Lane for an investigation into Sunday morning. Police advised motorists to seek alternate routes.

Nearby residents of the Bannockburn subdivision say the intersection is dangerous. Beth Rogers with the Bannockburn Civic Association says she’s been asking the Maryland State Highway Administration to install a traffic signal for years.

“I’ve been working with the state to have this intersection be made safer. There are people in my neighborhood who have been in serious accidents,” Rogers says.

Rogers says that students at nearby Walt Whitman High School use Pyle Road as a back entrance to the school’s parking lots.

“We’ve been trying to get some attention, Rogers says. “I think sometimes this is the only way that attention is unfortunately brought to a safety issue.”

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