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Fatal Crash on River Road

A 17-year-old Wheaton resident died on River Road on Sunday morning. David Cruces, of the 2700 block of Finley Street was driving eastbound on River Road, near Persimmon Tree Road at 2:20 a.m. said Derek Baliles, spokesperson for the Montgomery County Police.

“Cruces was passing another vehicle in a no-passing zone,” Baliles said. As he was passing a car driven by a Bethesda resident, Cruces struck a third car head-on, a Mercedes being driven by Christopher Hardy, 30, of the 9700 block of Potomac Manors Drive, Baliles said.

Cruces’ car flipped over as a result of the crash.

The police do not suspect that Cruces was racing at the time.

“He was pinned underneath the vehicle,” said Eugene Roesser, spokesperson for Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department.

“He was pronounced dead at the scene,” Baliles said. “Cruces is listed as being at fault in the accident that took his life.”

The drivers of the other two vehicles were transported to Suburban Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Baliles said.

The Police Accident Reconstruction Unit is continuing the investigation, but the results of their investigation will not be available for a few weeks.

Preliminary investigation has not determined whether speed was a factor. An analysis of Cruces’ blood will likely be performed, but there were no drugs or alcohol were detected at the scene, Baliles said.

Cruces’ death was the second time in recent months that a teen who was not from Potomac died in an auto accident in Potomac. Kensington resident Rod Bower died on May 22 when his car struck a tree on Democracy Boulevard.