The Maryland State Highway Administration will review the report regarding a fatal motor vehicle accident to determine if a Gaithersburg intersection could use a safety upgrade.
The response is in reaction to a Sept. 23 accident that left a 69-year-old woman dead and the 77-year-old driver critically injured. Some residents of the area said the woman might still be alive if the intersection had a green arrow turn signal or perhaps a reduced speed limit.
The accident occurred just before 8 p.m., when a southbound Toyota Highlander on Great Seneca Highway collided with a Lexus LS 400 that tried to turn left onto Lakelands Drive. The Highlander could not stop in time.
The woman, who was riding in the Lexus, was pronounced dead after being transported to an area hospital. The 21-year-old driver of the Highlander and her 25-year-old passenger sustained injuries that authorities said were not life threatening.
Between 2010 and 2011, the area saw 17 accidents but no fatalities, according to authorities. In 2012, however, there have been four accidents all along Great Seneca Highway, including the Sept. 23 incidents, with three of them fatal.
A spokesman said that when the State Highway Administration receives the final investigative report about the accident, it could send staff engineers to the scene to determine if the agency can make any alterations to the road to increase safety for drivers and pedestrians.
The engineering services director in Gaithersburg said the intersection where that accident occurred is not known as dangerous, but that does not mean there aren’t more highway officials can do to increase safety.
The survivors of the woman, as well as the driver’s family, will want to study the accident report, as well. If the report lays blame on the accident for road design, both parties could consider filing lawsuits against the state. The family of the woman could have a case for wrongful death, and a personal injury suit filed on behalf of the man could help to pay extensive medical bills.