The epidemic of car accidents involving local teenagers struck close to home again this week. This time, the teens escaped with their lives after a serious accident on Falls Road in Potomac early Sunday morning, Dec. 12.
Five teenagers were transported to area hospitals — two with severe injuries — after a 1996 Honda Accord travelling northbound on Falls Road near Tuckerman Lane spun out of control according to police, crossed the center line and struck a tree.
Falls Road was closed in both directions following the accident, which occurred at 12:53 a.m. Sunday, as a dozen Montgomery County Police and Rockville Volunteer Fire and Rescue vehicles responded to the scene.
Clothes were strewn about the wooded area on the west side of Falls, where the rear of the car was crumpled against a tree, set back 20 feet or more into the woods.
The car was travelling "at a high rate of speed" in a 35 mile per hour zone, according to police, though it was not immediately clear exactly how fast it was going. It struck the right-hand curb and spun around 180 degrees, running off the road and at least 20 feet into the wooded area on the west side of Falls.
The driver, Sharif Ullah, 19, of the 1500 block of Blue Meadow Road in Potomac, escaped the crash with only a few cuts. He was transported to Shady Grove Hospital where he was treated and released. He was wearing his seat belt and there is no indication that he had been drinking, said police.
None of the four passengers were wearing seat belts.
Sean Michael Dorsey, 21 of the 12100 block of Goodhill Road in Silver Spring was transported by ambulance to Suburban Hospital where he was treated and released. He was riding in the right front seat.
Griffin Andrew Baum, 18, of the 1200 block of Bartonshire Way in Rockville was treated and released at Shady Grove Hospital. He was the left rear seat passenger.
Arif Ullah, 16, the driver's brother, also of of Blue Meadow Road in Potomac, was riding in the center rear seat. He was ejected from the car in the accident and taken to Suburban Hospital with head injuries. He remains there in a fair condition.
Paul Rodbhajon, 18, of the 8400 block of 14th Avenue in Hyattsville, was riding in the right rear seat—the spot where the car impacted against the tree. He was also ejected from the car and taken to Suburban Hospital with severe head injuries. He remains in critical condition.
The five young men in the car were returning from a family birthday party, according to police at the scene.
The Montgomery County Police Collision Reconstruction Unit, which responds immediately to fatal or potentially fatal accidents was notified of the crash, but after consultation with the hospitals determined that all victims were expected to survive.
"People are not lying when they say all that stuff about teenagers" and risk taking in cars, said officer Kevin Conroy, who responded to the accident. "They're lucky not all five of them got killed. Those guys are lucky to be alive—all five of them."