Posted on Feb 08, 2014

One teenager died and four others were injured January 24 in a two-car accident in Gaithersburg.

Teressa French, 16 years old, was walking along the sidewalk that Friday afternoon when two cars near her crashed, sending one vehicle careening onto the sidewalk and into the young girl.

According to Montgomery County Police, a 1996 Honda Accord and a 2004 Chrysler Sebring were both driving northbound along Muncaster Mill Road. As the two lanes merged into one, both drivers attempted to merge at the same time. The two vehicles collided, causing both young drivers to lose control of their vehicles. The driver of the Honda, 17-year-old Oscar Fuentes, crashed into a utility pole. The driver of the Chrysler, 17-year-old Hugo Fernando Da Silv Rompante, ended up on the sidewalk, where he crashed into two pedestrians.

French was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead from her injuries. The other young girl who was walking next to her has been identified as 13-year-old Emma Lowe. She was listed in critical condition. Both girls attend Covenant Life School, where French was remembered for her joyful, upbeat attitude and determination on the basketball court.

Both drivers were taken to a local hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening. One of two teenage passengers in the Chrysler was also being treated for injuries. All four boys in the vehicles attend Magruder High School. According to a preliminary investigation, police believe that speed may have been a contributing factor in the crash. No charges had been made at press time.

We express our sympathies to the family of Teressa French and wish a speedy recovery for the others injured in the Montgomery County crash.

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