Olney car accident kills three, injures two
Updated: May 19, 2011 - 05:56 pm
As people mourn the victims of Sunday’s car crash in Olney, a second funeral will be held today for 18-year-old Spencer Datt.
Datt's funeral was held Thursday morning at Oakdale Emory United Methodist Church in Olney. He and two other young people were killed when the car they were in hit a tree.
Funeral services were held Wednesday for Haeley McGuire. On Saturday, John Hoover will be laid to rest at St. John the Baptist Church in Silver Spring.
Mourners bid farewell to Haeley McGuire
More than 1,000 mourners packed St. Francis of Assisi in Derwood, Md. to Wednesday morning bid farewell to Haeley McGuire, the high school senior who was killed along with two of her friends in an Olney car crash.
A banner out in front of the church requested passers-by to "Honk for Haeley" and there has been a chorus of horns blowing as the teen's family greeted every mourner with a hug.
"The Lord has called her back and she's in a better place now,” said Haley Williard, a senior, who was recounting the service. “We're gonna see her again some day.”
"It was beautiful. It was touching. It was sad," said Molly Stark.
Spencer Datt's funeral will be held Thursday at Oakdale Emory United Methodist Church in Olney. Visitation will be in the sanctuary at 10 a.m., followed by the service at 11 a.m.
John Hoover's funeral will be held Saturday at St. John the Baptist Church in Silver Spring. Visitation will be on Friday at St. Francis Assisi in Derwood at 6:30-8:30 p.m. Mass will be on Saturday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at 10:30 a.m.
The surviving victim, Charles Nardella of Gaithersburg, is out of the hospital. He sustained two broken ribs in the crash.
Monday night, 36 hours after the crash, a nurse and an attorney were scheduled to talk to students at Magruder about the medical and legal consequences of drinking and driving. The event was set up before the crash, but turned into a 600–person meeting to try and deal with the tragedy, ABC7’s Julie Parker has learned.
A friend of the killed McGuire said Magruder high school was "silent" and students were stunned at the events.
Who threw the parties? Who provided the alcohol?
Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy said Kevin Coffay, the driver in the crash which killed three young friends in Olney, had attended two parties prior to the crash and had been drinking.
Prosecutors are actively looking for information and trying to determine who hosted the parties Saturday night.
They're interested in who provided the alcohol and whether any parents were aware of the parties. Any adults who provided alcohol could face charges.
In charging documents, a police officer claims Coffay, 20, had a "strong odor of alcoholic beverage" at the time of his arrest.
Coffay is accused of fleeing the scene of the Sunday morning crash in Olney and failing to report it to police. Coffay’s lawyer wouldn’t speak to the alcohol accusation but said his client panicked after the wreck.
“There’s a long difference between running through the woods to get to your house and somebody who is really trying to flee,” the attorney said.
A Magruder graduate, Coffay was arraigned Monday on felony charges related to leaving the scene of a deadly crash and eluding police on foot. It’s possible the charges will be amended.
Police say they found him outside his Rockville home after about a three-hour search that involved K-9 units.
Haeley McGuire was a senior, days away from graduation when she died. She read the morning announcements for the school each day.
A friend of McGuire's says this tragedy doesn't just affect Magruder but other schools and the community because McGuire and the others in the accident had so many friends.
Driver in triple-fatality crash captured after three-hour manhunt
Police say that Coffay was driving a silver 2007 Toyota Corolla east in the 4700 block of Olney Laytonsville Road at Volunteer Drive when the accident occurred at approximately 3:11 a.m.
The Corolla left the right side of the roadway and smashed into a tree. A source told ABC 7's Kris Van Cleave that the road was wet.
Spencer Datt, 18, of the 5700 block of Sunrise Hill Road in Derwood, was pronounced deceased at the scene. He was sitting in the right front seat, according to police. Right rear passenger McGuire, 18, of the 5600 block of Artesian Drive in Rockville, was transported to MedStar where she was pronounced deceased. Center rear passenger John Hoover, 20, of the 5800 block of Rolling Drive in Rockville, was transported to Montgomery General Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
Charles Anthony Nardella, 19, of the 7700 block of Shady Brook Lane in Gaithersburg was sitting in the left rear seat and was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
In a press conference Sunday evening, Sgt. Meredith Dominick, head of the MCPD traffic reconstruction team, said a blood kit was administered on Coffay to test for drugs and alcohol. She would not comment on whether speed was a factor.
The investigation is getting priority handling, Dominick said, but will likely take weeks or months. Their next meeting with the states attorney is at the end of the summer. It would take a while until any additional charges could be filed, she said.
Four of the five people involved in the accident graduated from Magruder High School in Rockville and one was a senior there.
- Haeley McGuire
Grief counselors will be at Magruder High School in Rockville Monday to help students cope. A spokesperson for Montgomery County schools says they want to make the school environment as normal as possible. Students are in the middle of testing. Makeup days will be available for students if needed because of this tragedy.
“I don't think anyone really knows what to say,” said senior Amelia Bell, who placed a flower at the scene of the crash. “Everyone is so sad.”