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UPDATED: Pedestrian Hit by Car on Muddy Branch Road Dies

A Gaithersburg woman who was struck by a vehicle on Muddy Branch Road near Suffield Drive has died, police said.

(Update, 9:03 a.m.)

A Gaithersburg woman who was struck by a vehicle on Muddy Branch Road near Suffield Drive has died, police said.

Yessenia M. Martinez Rivas, 37, of the 100 block of Lamont Lane, was taken to Shady Grove Hospital and then flown to Medstar after being hit by a vehicle that was traveling northbound on Muddy Branch Road on Monday about 5:30 p.m., police said. She died about 11:15 p.m., according to police.

Police identified the driver as Daniel Ray Levine, 66, of the 14400 block of Kings Grant Street in North Potomac. Levine remained at the scene and provided information to investigators, police said.

A preliminary investigation revealed that a gray 2006 Toyota Prius was traveling northbound on Muddy Branch Road and struck a pedestrian who was in the roadway near Suffield Drive, police said.

Police are asking anyone who witnessed this collision and have not spoken to detectives to please contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620.  Callers may remain anonymous.

(Original post below)

A Gaithersburg woman remains in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle on Muddy Branch Road near Suffield Drive, police said.

Yessenia M. Martinez Rivas, 37, of the 100 block of Lamont Lane, was taken to Shady Grove Hospital, and then flown to Medstar after being hit by a vehicle that was traveling northbound on Muddy Branch Road, police said.

Police identified the driver as Daniel Ray Levine, 66, of the 14400 block of Kings Grant Street in North Potomac. Levine remained at the scene and provided information to investigators, police said.

The circumstances surrounding the collision remain under investigation. Police are asking anyone who witnessed this collision and have not spoken to detectives to please contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620.  Callers may remain anonymous.

(Original Post, 6:29 p.m., Monday, Nov. 5)

A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle Monday evening on Muddy Branch Road at the intersection of Great Seneca Highway (Route 119), Montgomery County police officer Britta Thomas told Patch.

The pedestrian was transported to a local hospital in critical condition, Thomas said. 

The circumstances of the collision were unclear as of 6:15 p.m., Thomas said.

Muddy Branch Road is closed heading towards Gaithersburg at the Darnestown Road (Route 28) intersection as the Montgomery County Police Collision Reconstruction Unit investigates the collision., Thomas said.

Editor's Note: This article was updated at 7:11 p.m. to include information on the victim's injuries.

localron November 07, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Was she in the legal crossover path to or from the MB shops or was she just going across at Suffield to the other side (where the Muddy Branch Shopping Center is located?)
Patch reader November 07, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Since intersections are also legal crosswalks, it doesn't matter.
Mrtnz November 07, 2012 at 03:08 PM
What matters the most is that she leaves behind 3 young girls (13, 12, 10). All intersections are legal crosswalks. An full investigation should happen.
Mrtnz November 07, 2012 at 03:33 PM
If there is anyone out there that has information on how to help these girls that lost all they had (mom). Please reach out. Any assistance would be of great help to them.
Seema Henn November 07, 2012 at 07:15 PM
My prayers are with the family. This should not happen to anyone and it is tough but here is the law about crosswalks and pedestrians that everyone seems to forget: MARYLAND Laws for Pedestrians At an intersection, a pedestrian is subject to all traffic control signals. If a pedestrian crosses a roadway at any point other than in a marked crosswalk or in an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, the pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching on the roadway.
Mrtnz November 07, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Thank you for the information about MARYLAND law. I truly hope this is not the case and she did cross legally. Not this will change anything at this moment, but maybe there would be some help for the girls. Thank you so much for keeping the family in your prayers. Now a days we need lots of prayer in our lives.
nellz November 07, 2012 at 10:57 PM
mrtnz-do you know how or where we can go to help the girls in any way?
AlleyCat November 08, 2012 at 01:46 AM
nellz - I know that two of her daughters attend Ridgeview Middle School (where my daughter also goes). The school sent home a letter and said more information will follow, so maybe if you contact the school they may have information about how to help the family. So sad.... It has really touched the children at school. My daughter said that their classmates have been thinking of and praying for the family.
Mrtnz November 08, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Thank you again for those of you praying and keeping the family in your thoughts. Please contact their temporary guardian Jackie Torres for more information on how to help the girls. Her contact information is 301-575-4679 or by email at jtorres002@hotmail.com - She informed me that the girls are in need of basic items at this time. Winter clothes and shoes. The school counselor is also a great person to contact if anyone is wanting to help. Thanks again and again. God Bless You! Karen
Crtvma November 08, 2012 at 08:20 AM
I feel horrible for the woman's family and for the driver. It would be nice if areas with crosswalks not at intersections had buttons pedestrians could push that would cause a little light to flash, to warn cars that someone was there. Cars are supposed to stop for pedestrians already in crosswalks, but if someone comes up to a crosswalk and then steps out as a car is going by, it could be a dangerous situation.
J November 08, 2012 at 08:56 PM
She was crossing Muddy Branch at night with dark clothes on near Suffield Drive, not any intersection, without waiting for traffic to stop or looking both ways while she walked. The driver didn't see her. It is a terrible tragedy, but pedestrians need to learn to be careful! This could happen to any one of us - cars are dangerous and that is a fact of life.
KS November 09, 2012 at 01:13 AM
J-Don't asume that she wasn't careful,drivers need to be VERY cautious while driving. Do you think it's nice to criticize this person when her family is in so much pain? So please keep those thoughts to yourself.
J November 09, 2012 at 02:36 AM
KS - My point was that no matter how cautious a driver you are it is so easy for this to happen to any one of us when the pedestrian doesn't take proper caution. It's terrible what her family is going through, but I feel for the driver as well. Imagine if you had been the driver and someone had walked in front of your car and you didn't see them until it was too late, and now you have to live with that over your head for the rest of your life. If it had been you I'm sure you wouldn't be making those comments.
nxt November 09, 2012 at 03:59 AM
She was walking across the intersection on a pedestrian crosswalk and was steps from reaching the sidewalk when she was struck. Drivers should take more care when driving, especially while driving through a pedestrian crosswalk. There are posted signs prior to arriving at the crosswalk to warn drivers of the hazards ahead. Also, all vehicles are equipped with headlights and anyone can be seen if the driver is looking forward and paying attention. Just saying...
J November 09, 2012 at 04:27 AM
It's easy to say those words, but the fact of the matter is that accidents do happen. I know it's a comforting thought to think, "I'm a good driver, I'm cautious, it's never happened to me and so it never will." I don't think this driver thought it would happen to him, either. But all it takes is the right combination of factors, of a careless pedestrian and poor lighting and in a blink it's all over - and that is why we are all taught to look both ways before crossing the street. Not because everyone is a bad driver, but because that is the nature of vehicles: they are dangerous. It is impossible to react fast enough if a pedestrian walks in front of your vehicle and you are going 35 mph.
nxt November 09, 2012 at 06:39 AM
Just as easy as it is for you to assume that she was being careless. You don't know that but you are quick to assume. If you meant that this was an accident and neither person would have thought it would ever happen to them, then say that. You are placing negligence on her. FACT remains she was the pedestrian, drivers of any type of vehicle/motorcycle/bicycle/tractor/bobcat/horse/donkey/etc. YIELD to pedestrians. Period. I'm sure the driver feels awful and since he did the right thing to stop and wait for the police instead running away, I respect him for that. However, as I mentioned earlier, they have signs posted prior to arriving any intersection, crosswalk, railroad tracks, etc. its impossible that anyone would miss those, if they did than they weren't paying attention, hence being negligent; or there was nothing there, at which point the county has failed to secure the safety of the pedestrians crossing at that designed crosswalk, at which point the county showed negligence. There was a warning of a possible hazard ahead with ample distance for any driver to be on alert and/or slow down to better control your vehicle.
nxt November 09, 2012 at 06:39 AM
I hope this tragic event reminds us that all need to take more care on the streets, everyone has children, family, and friends to come home to. Please give a little courtesy of staying within the speed limits posted, paying attention to the signs posted and adjusting to the upcoming hazard. A vehicle is no match for a pedestrian so proceed with caution.
J November 09, 2012 at 07:38 AM
I hope this tragic event also reminds us to look both ways before crossing the street, and give a little courtesy by not assuming cars will stop/be able to stop in time when you walk out into the road. Especially at night crossing a major road and not at an intersection, it's probably a good idea to wait for traffic to cease and then cross quickly. A vehicle is no match for a pedestrian so proceed with caution.
G November 09, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Why are you guys fighting about who is at fault,makes no difference it wont bring her back. Lets just think about her poor children and pray for them and the family. Accidents can happen at the blink of an eye,we are all qulity of not always being 100% careful. I am sure neither were careless,it was just an accident that he will have to live with for the rest of his life. You werent on the street eith her or in the car with him so you cant say what went wrong. Only God knows. We ALL drivers and pedestrians need to be careful and alert. In another state i have seen a sign that has a person walking on it and a red light on top and bottom that flashes when someone isin crosswalk maybe they need to put more of those up.
40 November 09, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Couple of things not in the pedestrian's favor in this area: - Speed limit through there is 45 mph - The crosswalk is mid block - Vegetation in the median decreases sight lines - Crosswalk sits at the top of the hill so drivers do not see pavement markings from afar The two nearest crossings at traffic lights are Muddy Branch & Diamondback Dr or Muddy Branch & Great Seneca. Both have cars turning at high speeds while the crossing light is on. Having to only look in one direction for oncoming traffic at a time makes this crossing safer. However, it is more difficult to judge distance when cars are speeding and it is dark (less ability to perceive speed). Please slow down in my neighborhood.
G December 20, 2012 at 04:11 PM
I drive that road every day and find that it is very hard to see pedestrians crossing in the crosswalk during the day and especially at night. ANY driver could be in that situation as you need to look to the median and the sidewalk to see a pedestrian crossing. I encourage you to write to Montgomery County mcdot.trafficops@montgomerycountymd.gov to ask them to put in a flashing yellow light to inform drivers that a pedistrian wants to cross. Instead of looking to assign blame solve the problem.
devon neal January 04, 2013 at 05:12 AM
all of her daughters were my best friends more like sisters to me and their momther yessenia was like my 2nd mom i really did love her that way and i was suppost to spend the night at their house the day she got hit and it kills me that i wasent their to help comfert jasmine and her younger sisters we went to her viewing and she looked like an angel how she always looked like to this day i miss to her sooo much and i . . . . am just speechless

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