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Serious Multi Car Ax involving School Bus

Montgomery County police are investigating a serious collision involving four vehicles  (including a school bus) that occurred at approximately 1:15 p.m. on Feb. 22 on Clopper Road just north of Game Preserve Road. The road was closed for hours while  accident investigators were on scene.

According to police,  a 2012 black Chevrolet Equinox, driven by Kent Behzad Karimi, age 37, of the unit block of Polk Court in North Potomac, was stopped in the northbound lanes of Clopper Road waiting to make a left-hand turn into the driveway of Seneca Creek State Park.  For reasons still under investigation, police said, a white 2011 Chevrolet Express van, driven by Jose J. Marez, age 39, of the 2200 block of Regina Drive in Clarksburg, also traveling northbound on Clopper Road, struck the rear of the Equinox, pushing the Equinox into the southbound lanes of Clopper Road.

At the same time, police said, a county school bus, driven by Margaret Karen Hoyte, age 53, of the 5700 block of Trailview Court in Frederick, was traveling southbound on Clopper Road when the Equinox entered the travel lane.  Police said the bus driver was unable to stop the bus which hit the passenger’s side of the Equinox. Six special needs students and a driver’s aid were on the bus, according to police.

A fourth vehicle, a silver 2001 Volvo S40, driven by Denise C. Pareja, age 26, of the 13000 block of Open Hearth Way in Germantown, was also traveling northbound on Clopper Road, police said.  The driver attempted to avoid striking the rear of the Chevrolet van, lost control of the Volvo, and struck a concrete bus stop area on the side of the road, according to police.

The students, bus driver, and driver’s aid were all transported to a local hospital for a check-up but did not report any serious injuries, police said. Marez was not injured and remained on the scene to speak with investigators, according to police.

The driver of the Equinox was transported with life-threatening injuries to a local hospital and remains in critical condition, police said.  Pareja was also transported to a local hospital for a check-up, according to police.

The circumstances surrounding this collision remain under investigation.  Investigators are asking anyone who witnessed this collision to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240.773.6620.  Callers may remain anonymous.


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