Montgomery Co. woman struck, killed blocks from where her husband was hit in 2016

A 63-year-old woman was struck and killed by a car in Montgomery County, Maryland, on Wednesday night, blocks away from where her husband was hit and killed five years ago.

Claire E. Weissmeyer Grossmann, of the Aspen Hill neighborhood of Silver Spring, was killed crossing Georgia Avenue near Rippling Brook Drive.

The Montgomery County police said Grossmann was struck by the driver of a 2015 Toyota Camry, and that the collision is under investigation.

Grossmann’s neighbor Kirsy Blietz said the case is especially distressing because Grossmann’s husband, Robert, was also killed after being struck by a driver just two blocks away from where his wife was hit.

Blietz told WTOP the intersection has become a hotbed for speeders. When Blietz learned that Claire Grossman had died as a result of being hit by a car, she said, “I just thought — that’s one more person I know.”

Blietz said Robert Grossmann, 64, was crossing Georgia Avenue when he was hit and killed by a car near Regina Drive, about 1,000 feet away from Rippling Brook Drive, in October 2016.

Police accounts stated Robert Grossmann was not in a crosswalk when he was struck.

Blietz said she could also recall the death of a neighbor’s niece along Georgia Avenue. And in 2018, she said, the force of a collision between two cars sent one up onto the sidewalk in front of Kennedy High School, injuring four high school students, one of them seriously.

Blietz said she has written to state and local officials before, asking that some kind of safety improvements be considered.

The speed limit along that stretch of Georgia Avenue is 35 mph, and Blietz said that’s an improvement.

“It was much worse when it was 45 mph, because then people were going 55 and 60, so it was like walking on a sidewalk next to the Beltway,” she said.

But speeding remains a serious problem, she said.

Blietz said there used to be a signboard notifying drivers of their speeds as they passed.

“It had blue and red lights on top, so it looked like there was a police car,” she said. “So people slowed down. But then as soon as that sign went away, everybody sped back up.”

She even recalled a time when a neighbor left a refrigerator by the curb for disposal. Blietz said drivers slowed down when they saw it, mistaking it for equipment linked to a speed camera. She said there are no speed cameras along the section of Georgia Avenue in her neighborhood.

Asked about the latest pedestrian fatality along the roadway, Shantee Felix, with the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration, wrote in an email:

“We are saddened about the fatal crash along MD 97 (Georgia Avenue). At this point, police are still investigating. Once the investigation is complete, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) will work with law enforcement to understand what happened and what can be done on our end to make our roadways safer.”

In an email to WTOP, Blietz expressed her frustration and continued concern over speeding along the route.

“Enough. Please investigate why Aspen Hill isn’t important enough to stop this madness.”

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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