2 pedestrians struck in Kensington
Updated: January 1, 2012 - 07:46 pm
It was a jarring scene along Summit Avenue in Kensington, especially for a quiet New Year's day morning.
A silver Hyundai sat in the middle of the street, it's windshield shattered, as accident reconstruction investigators took measurements and looked for clues.
"People are always in a hurry", Denise Willsey remarked, as she stood outside the yellow police tape blocking the road.
"With the New Year, we've got to change our lives, take our time", she added.
Police are looking into how and why 77 year old John Whalen, and his 74 year old wife Dorothy, of Kensington, walking along this sidewalk near Prospect Street, were struck by the northbound Hyundai.
"At this point, we have no idea why the vehicle left the roadway", said Lieutenant Ronald Smith, with the Montgomery County Police."
"...(It) mounted the curb, got up on the sidewalk, struck the two pedestrians, came back and then came to a rest where you see the vehicle now".
On one section of the sidewalk sits a ball cap and a single shoe. Orange and white markings show the point of impact.
After the collision, the Whalens were both rushed to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. Their injuries are described as life threatening.
Police have identified the Hyundai driver as 68 year old Mary Ann Harrington of Germantown. She was also sent to the hospital with injuries. It's unclear how badly she was hurt.
"This street in particular, they come by pretty quick", says Ralph Quattrucci, who lives just across the street from the collision scene.
Quattrucci says he never lets his children too close to Summit Avenue.
" I don't even let 'em play over here," he says. "I make sure they play in the back yard 'cos I don't want them nowhere near the street".
There are speed cameras on nearby Connecticut Avenue, and there's talk of putting speed bumps along Summit Avenue, but no action has been taken.
Police are investigating to see if speed, alcohol, driver unattention, or other factors were at work.
Sarah Fudge, who grew up near the collision scene, says pedestrians and drivers need to watch out for each other.
"Crosswalks would be great", she says. "But we don't have them, so you do have to pay attention when cars are coming, and move quickly when you're crossing the street.
The notion that two elderly pedestrians were hurt while out taking a leisurely walk troubles many here.
"My heart goes out to the family", Willsey says.
Earlier: Police ID driver, pedestrians in Kensington crash
Two pedestrians were hit by a car on a sidewalk on Summit Avenue in Kensington, Md. Sunday morning.
John Richard Whalen,77, and Dorothy Whalen, 74, a married couple who live in the 9900 block of Cable Drive in Kensington, both sustained life-threatening injuries, police say.
The collision happened shortly after 10 a.m. when a 2003 Hyundai Sonata, driven by Mary Ann Harrington, 68, was traveling northbound on Summit Avenue and left the right side of the roadway prior to Prospect Street and hit the Whalens on the sidewalk.
Harrington, of the 21000 block of Father Hurley Boulevard in Germantown, was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Collision Reconstruction Unit (CRU) are investigating.
Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 301-840-2435. Callers may remain anonymous.
Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.