Two of the three fatal traffic incidents in Montgomery County on Sunday involved pedestrians.
The first incident occurred at approximately 5 a.m. Sunday in Wheaton-Glenmont, according to a news release from the county police department. Hernan Zuasnabar Cunyas, 46, of Silver Spring, was struck by a blue Toyota RAV4 on Veirs Mill Road near Newport Mill Road. The release said the driver of the vehicle remained on the scene and the victim was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The second incident occurred at 7:50 a.m. on I-270 in Rockville, when two vehicles struck and killed Adan Morales Garcia, 40, of Germantown, according to Maryland State Police. For unknown reasons, Garcia ran into the road and was hit by one car and then a second car shortly after, the news release said. Police say the cars were unable to avoid Garcia and he was declared dead at the scene.
The victims from Sunday are the sixth and seventh pedestrian fatalities of the year, according to Data Montgomery.
Sterling David Brown, 67, of Montgomery Village died one day after he was struck Feb. 1 in Montgomery Village. Ruth Noemi Bermudez-Chavez, 22, was killed Feb. 5 in Aspen Hill. Teklu Bushen Siba, 75, of Silver Spring was killed March 16 in the White Oak area of Silver Spring. Zelalem Yirga Adamu, 40, of Laurel was struck by two cars and killed March 25 in the Burnt Mills area of Silver Spring.
Elijah Miles, 14, an eighth-grader at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Germantown, was struck by a car in Germantown on May 9 and died days after the incident.
The third traffic fatality involved a single-motorcycle collision that occurred later in the afternoon at 3 p.m. near Airpark Road between Antares Drive and Muncaster Mill Road. According to county police, Jason Ramon Caballero was driving a Harley Davidson motorcycle, when for reasons still under investigation, he entered the median and was ejected from the motorcycle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
In 2022 there was a total of 78 serious and fatal pedestrian collisions, 13 of which led to pedestrian fatalities, according to Data Montgomery. In 2021, there were seven fatal pedestrian collisions and in 2020 there were 16.
The county is currently in the second year of the Vision Zero 2030 Action Plan, its effort to reduce and eventually eliminate death and serious injuries of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists by 2030.
From this initiative, which began July 2021, the county has constructed bikeways on Old Georgetown Road, a new pedestrian bridge over Connecticut Avenue, upgrades to lighting on roads and made progress on bicycle and pedestrian projects on Veirs Mill Road.
Vision Zero also has initiatives targeted towards high school students concerning pedestrian safety for young people.
In November 2022, county officials admitted that there was a long way to go when it comes to road and pedestrian safety.
The Montgomery County, Maryland chapter of Families for Safe Streets has been outspoken about the need for safer streets and roadways in the county since 2019. They are hosting a rally and interactive community “chalk-in” on June 3 to demand safer streets in remembrance of individuals who have died in Montgomery County.
The MCPD Collision Reconstruction Unit (CRU) is currently investigating the first and third traffic fatalities on Sunday. Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding the collisions to contact them at 240-773-6620.