The man seriously hurt in a car crash in Kensington, Maryland, Saturday evening is a Catholic deacon who was on his way to evening Mass.
Deacon Carlos Hernandez, 64, is in critical condition after his Volvo was broadsided by a Chevrolet Camaro. Montgomery County police are investigating whether the driver of the Camaro was speeding or even racing.
Hernandez is a deacon at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church on Wayne Avenue, near downtown Silver Spring. Monsignor Eddie Tolentino called him a beloved member of the church community.
"He is almost love personified," Tolentino said.
Hernandez was turning left onto Denfeld Avenue from a southbound lane of Connecticut Avenue about 5:30 p.m. Saturday when a Camaro headed north crashed into his car, police said.
The deacon was rushed to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Camaro, a 23-year-old man, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police say the Camaro driver may have been speeding or even racing another driver. A third driver returned to the scene of the crash and was cooperating with authorities, police said.
The deacon received multiple fractures and lost mobility in his right arm, the monsignor said. He had bleeding in his brain, but it later stopped, Tolentino said.
Hernandez was ordained as a deacon three years ago. His celebrates baptism and heads the church's service ministries.
The church has dedicated services to Hernandez and is raising money for his medical expenses via a GoFundMe page.
"He has been impacting this parish for many years," parishioner Sonia Melendez said. "The way that he is, I know, he will be fighting there, but God will be fighting for him."
Neighbors have complained about the safety of the intersection where Hernandez's car was hit. Neighbor Tabitha Sripipatana said she often sees cars racing, even during the day.
No charges were immediately filed against the driver of the Camaro.
Anyone who saw drivers speeding or who knows anything about the crash is asked to call Montgomery County police.