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Silver Spring Man Struck by Car in Aspen Hill, Dies

Fatal collision occurred Monday night at Georgia Avenue and Heathfield Road.

A 59-year-old man from Silver Spring was hit by a car in Aspen Hill Monday night and later died of his injuries, according to Montgomery County police.

Frank Sedwick, of the 1200 block of Downs Drive, was crossing Georgia Avenue from west to east at Heathfield Road in Aspen Hill when he was struck by a white 2005 Nissan Altima traveling southbound, according to a statement from police.

Police and fire and rescue personnel responded at 10:20 p.m. Sedwick was flown to Suburban Hospital, where he died.

Police have identified the driver of the Altima as Victoria Carter, 24, of the 19000 block of Fuller Heights Road in Triangle, VA.

The circumstances of the accident remain under investigation.  Detectives are asking anyone who has information about this collision to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620. Callers may remain anonymous.

Ben Schumin February 12, 2013 at 03:25 PM
The question I have is what can be done about pedestrian safety on Georgia Avenue between Glenmont station and Olney? The speed limit goes up to 45 mph at the 7-Eleven by Glenmont Metro, goes up to 50 after Home Depot, and doesn't go down until well north of the ICC. The location of the accident is very dark at night, and people often speed through that area. I wonder if better lighting through that whole corridor would make a difference, to make pedestrians easier to spot from a distance.
TaL February 12, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Pedestrians could also cross at the crosswalks and they can re-locate the bus stops to at the lights---if you look at the pedestrian fatality rates for the county, Georgia Ave from Wheaton to the ICC consistently is 30% or more of the incidents. Almost all of them are as a result of people in dark clothing running across the road late at night or early in the morning, usually at a bus stop.
ROBERT SCHROEDER February 13, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Pedestrians cross where ever, go between University & veirs mil road & CVS, Pick any spot, they make their own cross walks. Also yesterday i had a meeting with a man & after we were done he wanted to cross when the do not walk light was on. Also @ Wheaton metro there are people who walk agents the do not walk light. Police us to give out jaywalking tickets, but due to other crimes they do not. I think that the county needs to fine people for jaywalking, but how?
Ian Brett Cooper February 13, 2013 at 04:39 PM
TaL, your attitude is quite typical of the ignorance of motorists when it comes to Maryland transportation laws. Under Maryland law, EVERY intersection is considered to have a crosswalk, whether marked or not. It would be nice if motorists would understand this, drive carefully at such places, and not blame the victims of motorist ignorance and/or inattention. Heathfield Road at Georgia (where Frank Sedwick was crossing) is an unmarked crosswalk. Pedestrians are legally allowed to cross at such places and motorists are required by Maryland law to yield to them. The 45mph limit does not help matters, especially since motorists regard such limits with scorn and blatantly drive at speeds of 55mph or more, turning what ought to be a road that all people can share into a de-facto freeway where pedestrians and cyclists are bullied off the public right of way and killed when they choose to assert their basic right to get from home to work and vice versa.
Ian Brett Cooper February 13, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Robert, pedestrians, under Maryland law, have the right to cross roads ANYWHERE. They must yield to cars ONLY between intersections. I agree that pedestrians often do not observe pedestrian signals at controlled intersections. Neither do motorists or cyclists. In this particular case, it seems clear that the victim, Frank Sedwick, was crossing perfectly legally when he was struck by a motorist who failed to yield to a pedestrian crossing at an unmarked crosswalk.
Luv February 14, 2013 at 03:13 PM
Ian, as a relative of the man who lost his life in this particular accident, I have to say I appreciate your support in pedestrian rights especially in this case. Frank did not drive so walking was his mode of transportation. He had recently received a prosthetic leg, so he also valued his strolls even more so after not being able to do so for so long. There are numerous factors that could've played part in the accident that took his life, but I can only hope that if lighting or speed did play a part, authorities will take necessary action to improve these conditions to make this intersection safe for all pedestrians and motorists. It would be sad for others to have to endure the same pain BOTH families are going through right now if there is an opportunity to prevent it!
Ian Brett Cooper February 14, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Thanks for the kind words, Luv. I hope you and all involved are coping as well as you can with your loss. As a person who has never owned a car, I have to get everywhere by bicycle and walking, so I know first hand how daunting the roads can be for those of us who don't drive. Sadly, many people tend to view pedestrians and cyclists as second-class citizens on our roads - to many who don't have to walk or cycle transportationally, walking and cycling don't count as useful or necessary activities, but only as recreation, and all too often, this attitude impacts road design, lighting and safety. It's about time these attitudes changed, so that ALL road users got a fair shake on roads that have effectively been expropriated by the automobile. In my view, if roads were seen as more than 'just for cars', accidents like this would be far less common. Unfortunately, I think local government has a long way to go before it really gets away from the automobile-centric mindset that has been evident since the automobile took over as the dominant force on our roads. Currently, government is all about facilitating speedy commutes, and sadly that seems to mean safety is job #2.
ilkunta February 15, 2013 at 04:53 PM
ian: since you havent ever owned a car in your life, have you also lived in a metro area that is bus/streetcar cab accessible? do you have neighborhood grocery stores that you are able to do your full grocery shopping at ?
ilkunta February 15, 2013 at 04:54 PM
hmm not sure wh my reply to ian is under 'luv' 's comment so I post again; ian: since you havent ever owned a car in your life, have you also lived in a metro area that is bus/streetcar cab accessible? do you have neighborhood grocery stores that you are able to do your full grocery shopping at ?
Ian Brett Cooper February 15, 2013 at 05:22 PM
I have not always lived in a metro area that is bus/streetcar/cab accessible. As long as I live within 5 to 10 miles of a supermarket, I can get all my shopping using my bike's panniers (my bike has 5 big shopping bag sized touring panniers). I've done this on a number of occasions, though I prefer living closer to shopping, so when I have to relocate, I look for walkable/bikeable neighborhoods. I've also walked to my local grocery store when it was close enough.
Ian Brett Cooper February 15, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Also, it depends on what you mean by 'accessible'. In my 20s, I would think nothing of walking 3 to 5 miles - lots of services are accessible at that range. As I got older, I tended to rely on the bicycle more, as it can get me three times farther in the same time as walking. Now, at age 50, I like to limit my errands to half an hour each way maximum, so say 5 miles on the bike. But I rarely go out that far, as where I currently live has virtually everything I need within a 3 mile radius, so there's no need.
ROBERT SCHROEDER February 16, 2013 at 12:20 PM
I am so sorry for your loss
ROBERT SCHROEDER February 16, 2013 at 12:27 PM
lan, i would like to see more of the bikes on roads too, some areas do have it [think Rockville has 1? I seen people ride their bikes on the side walk. i us to have a bike a few years back, but sold it because the roads got dangerous to ride. Also i do agree with you that people have the right to walk anywhere.
Ian Brett Cooper February 16, 2013 at 12:41 PM
"...sold it because the roads got dangerous to ride" I used to feel the same way, so I decided to take the League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling course. Then I took their instructor course. Now I feel in control on any road (I cycled 2 miles along University Boulevard - a 6-lane highway - just yesterday). Still, I'd like to see speed limits reduced - everyone seems in such a hurry, and mostly in pursuit of getting somewhere they don't really want to be anyway. The frantic pace of motoring has made almost every journey unpleasant for everyone and deadly for some. If we could find some way of making the journey fun and safer for everyone, that would be a real victory, and I feel a change to a slower pace would be a good first step. Then again, virtually no one sees it my way.
ROBERT SCHROEDER February 16, 2013 at 12:52 PM
I agree lower the speed limit [some people do not even care too], i did not know about that bike course. i us to go from sligo creak to Wheaton reg. park with the manager of the apartment building i lived in.
Ian Brett Cooper February 16, 2013 at 01:06 PM
Yeah, that's a nice ride. I live very close to the Sligo Creek bike path, so my family and I use it a lot to get to Brookside Gardens. Now that's a lovely spot to enjoy a change of pace - no cars and bikes aren't even allowed in there, so it's like an oasis of peace and quiet.
Joe Galvagna February 28, 2013 at 01:47 PM
Something must be done about this. The people and cars are both at fault here all the time. I see people crossing in violation of light all the time its as if they dare cars. People the car will win every time. Think of the effect on innocent driver on their way to work or whatever and someone does not observe lights now the pedestrian is injured or dead and the driver is scared for life. Obey the lights/laws people you cannot win in a fight with a car. I see a lot of this in Aspenhill because of not speaking or reading English sometimes with children or pets. We better enforcement of laws of the roads cross walk laws or not. Use sense think a cross walk law is only good if you obey it and do not get hit by a car.
Ian Brett Cooper February 28, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Firstly, this particular accident was not caused by a pedestrian disobeying signs or lights. This happened at an unmarked crosswalk where motorists are REQUIRED to yield to pedestrians. Blaming the victim by implying that he was as much to blame as the driver that hit him is not helpful. Also, putting the issue in the context of 'winning' and losing is offensive. The road is not a sports arena and motorists are not in competition with pedestrians. NO ONE 'wins' if someone gets killed.
Ricardo Hernandez June 08, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Victoria carter is my aunt
ROBERT SCHROEDER June 08, 2013 at 09:04 PM
I am so sorry & you all are in my prayers
Costco Gas Man June 09, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Ian's comment that motorists are required to always yield to pedestrians is misleading and incorrect. They must yield when the pedestrian follows the law. What is the law? Pedestrians at unmarked crosswalks must make sure that it is safe to cross. That's right. The onus is on the pedestrian, not the motorist as Ian implies. Here is a good analysis from an attorney. http://mt.portnerandshure.com/portner_and_shure/maryland_car_accident_blog/2012/08/the-best-maryland-injury-lawyers-know-crosswalks-do-you.html This means that a pedestrian who crosses a street without using a crosswalk has the responsibility of making sure that no car hits them. This is important because many people believe that the operators of vehicles have the responsibility not to hit pedestrians. Yet, it is pedestrians who have the responsibility of not being struck by a vehicle when crossing at a location other than a crosswalk. Therefore, pedestrian accidents that occur outside of a crosswalk often lead to no personal injury recovery for such automobile accident victims. Maryland is one of the few states that requires its personal injury attorneys to confront the rule of contributory negligence.
Ian Brett Cooper June 09, 2013 at 01:29 PM
My comments are not incorrect - they reflect the law as it stands. I never said that motorists are required to always yield to pedestrians - you made that up. In fact I specifically said that pedestrians must yield to vehicles between intersections. But anyway, you cannot just mow down a pedestrian even if he's not obeying the law. If you do, you risk being charged with vehicular manslaughter. Failure to yield does not carry a death sentence, and even if it did, motorists are not licensed to carry out the sentence. EVERYONE has the responsibility to avoid collisions on the road. I suggest you re-read the Maryland Driver's Handbook.
Costco Gas Man June 09, 2013 at 02:00 PM
Incredibly, Ian now claims he knows more then the attorney who knows the law. You are implying that pedestrians can just step out at an unmarked crosswalk without caution and that motorists must always yield. If that's not what you're implying then you're a poor communicator. In fact, you can mow down a pedestrian who does not follow the law so you're absolutely incorrect on that also. You are a person who may lead someone to their death with your misinformation and I'm not making that up either. Get your facts straight. Even though everyone has a duty to avoid a collision the article I posted above makes it clear that in most circumstnaces pedestrians have the onus on them, NOT THE MOTORIST. If you believe other wise you're a fool.

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