Series of Wrong-Way Crashes on Rockville Pike Leaves Man Seriously Injured

Saturday, Dec 29, 2012  |  Updated 3:40 PM EDT
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A 61-year-old man remains in critical condition at Baltimore Shock Trauma after he was struck by a wrong-way driver on Rockville Pike Friday morning.

That victim, identified by police as James Plakas of Rockville, was one of several struck by a 31-year-old Keegan Lutchman of Gaithersburg, who was driving a 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan. Investigators say that Lutchman was traveling south in the 1200 block of Rockville Pike when he crossed over into the northbound lanes.

Montgomery County Police aren't sure why Lutchman swerved into the wrong lanes. But once he did, he left a string of accidents behind.

First, the VW driver struck the mirror of a parked Ford pickup. Then he struck Plakas, who was driving a Chevrolet HHR.

That crash sent the Chevrolet into a 2005 burgundy Cadillac SRX, driven by Aletha Davis, 42, of Lusby. Still, Lutchman continued in the wrong lanes, hitting a Honda Civic driven by 41-year-old Imran Arif of Gaithersburg that was stopped in the northbound lanes. Then, the Volkswagen struck a northbound Pontiac Torrent driven by Ana Lopez, 50, of Rockville.

Finally, the VW jumped a curb and came to rest in the parking lot of a BMW dealership.

Davis, Arif, and Lutchman were all taken to Suburban Hospital for treatment of what is believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, as was Lutchman's mother, 56-year-old Annemarie Lutchman. Arif was treated and released Friday. The conditions of Davis and the Lutchmans are not known. Lopez and the driver of the Ford pickup, 61-year-old Ronald Baxter of Silver Spring, were not transported.

Rockville Pike was initially closed in both directions at Templeton Place. Several hours later two southbound lanes reopened, but the northbound lanes remained closed until late Friday afternoon.

Investigators are still looking for anyone who witnessed the accident and has not yet spoken to authorities. Witnesses should call 240-773-6620.

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