Credit: Courtney Cohn

This story, originally published at 12:13 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2023, was updated at 1:57 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2023 to add the victim’s identity and information about the investigation.

Peter Kostas Axarlis, 43, of Rockville died Sunday after his Silver 2020 GMC Sierra left the roadway in Silver Spring, according to Montgomery County Police, making this the third death from a single-car collision since October.

It was likely high speed that caused him to lose control, said Montgomery County Fire Rescue spokesperson Pete Piringer.

Around 12:32 p.m., police and Montgomery County Fire Rescue personnel responded to the area of Arcola Avenue and University Boulevard West, near Northwood High School, for a single-vehicle collision, police said.

Axarlis was traveling south on Arcola Avenue when his pick-up truck swerved off the road, striking multiple trees near the intersection of University Boulevard West. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

This is an active investigation, and police urge anyone with information regarding this collision to call Collision Reconstruction Unit detectives at 240-773-6620.  


There were 48 traffic fatalities in 2022, and this incident marks the 41st fatality in 2023, according to Zero Deaths Maryland, which is part of the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office.

Montgomery County has its Vision Zero plan in place, which allocates resources to help eliminate serious injury and fatal collisions on county roads for vehicle occupants, pedestrians and bicyclists by the end of 2030.

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