UPDATED: Pedestrian Struck, Killed By School Bus On Clopper Road

A 55-year-old man was struck and killed by a school bus Thursday morning in Gaithersburg.

Update, 1:20 p.m.

Montgomery County police have identified the victim of Thursday morning's fatal pedestrian collision as George Pezdirtz III, of the 900 block of Clopper Road in Gaithersburg.

Montgomery County police and Fire and Rescue services responded to the area of Clopper Road and Metropolitan Grove Road at approximately 6:26 a.m. for the report of a personal injury collision, according to a news release.

Preliminary investigation revealed Pezdirtz, 55, was crossing Clopper Road just east of Metropolitan Grove Road when he was struck by a Montgomery County school bus that was traveling westbound on Clopper Road, police said.

The driver of the bus has been identified as Telma Elizabeth Ramirez, 57, of the 19200 block of Hempstone Avenue in Poolesville, police said. Ramirez remained on scene of the collision and provided information to investigators.

The circumstances surrounding this collision remain under investigation.  Detectives are asking anyone that witnessed or may have information about this collision to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620. Callers may remain anonymous.

Original Post, 9:48 a.m.

A 55-year-old man was struck and killed by a school bus Thursday morning in Gaithersburg, NBC Washington reported.

The incident occurred on Clopper Road at Firstfield Road around 6:30 a.m, according to the report.

"Clopper [Road] is shut down between Firstfield [Road] and Metropolitan Grove [Road] for the investigation of a fatal pedestrian collision," Montgomery County police tweeted at 7:30 a.m.

The bus was a Montgomery County Public Schools bus and no students were on the bus at the time, MCPS spokesperson Dana Tofig said.

The road closures caused some traffic problems for MCPS schools this morning, Tofig said. The following recorded message was sent to parents at several Gaithersburg area schools:

Good morning. This is a message from Montgomery County Public Schools. A traffic accident this morning has caused police to close Clopper Road in both directions at the intersection with Firstfield Road. This is causing some of our bus routes to be delayed and is also making it difficult for some staff members to get to their schools. Staff members are at your child's school and are ready for the school day to begin. However the road closures may cause some changes to early classes. All students are safe and we expect this to cause minimal disruption to the school day. If you have questions, please contact the office of your child's school. Thank you.

Clopper Road was reopened around 9:44 a.m., according to Alert Gaithersburg.

Read the full story on NBC Washington.

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  •  (March 14, 2013)
Sharon March 21, 2013 at 04:14 PM
So sad! Wonder if school bus speeding was a factor because there has been a need over the years in my community to notify MCPS regarding too many lead-footed bus drivers!
C.Maynard March 21, 2013 at 05:04 PM
I was there with the man until the ambulance came. On clopper rd where it happened is a Lil hill or dip and people sometimes cross the street there which is very dangerous bc it was dark and you can't see cars coming and if the person isn't driving cautiously you can't see pedestrians. I just want his family to know he was not alone.
Carolina Sanchez March 21, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Really???!!!!..... I am so shocked to read your comment right after reading about this sad tragic story! What kind of a person are you? a person has tragically died and you have a need to post this about lead-footed bus drivers?! You should be ashamed of your self..... all the news reports say it was dark, and he ILLEGALLY crossed road because the cross walk close to 1/2 a mile away...
Carolina March 21, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Really???!!!!..... I am so shocked to read your comment right after reading about this sad tragic story! What kind of a person are you? a person has tragically died and you have a need to post this about lead-footed bus drivers?! You should be ashamed of your self..... all the news reports say it was dark, and he ILLEGALLY crossed road because the cross walk close to 1/2 a mile away...
Ioana March 21, 2013 at 08:27 PM
This message goes for C. Maryland...I want you to know that his family would appreciate you staying there with him and not leaving you alone. I had recently lost my fiancée in a traffic accident and someone was there with him as well until the ambulance came. It means so much to me that he was not there all alone in the street. Thank you for staying with this man...very sad story. Rest in peace...my prayers are with his family and all of the people impacted by this tragedy
Ioana March 21, 2013 at 08:28 PM
...leaving him* alone
sallie dukes March 22, 2013 at 12:00 PM
He was my co- worker on his way to work, my prayers are with the family.
jnrentz1 March 22, 2013 at 12:24 PM
We offer our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. George Pezdirtz III. That being said, Ms. Sharon Adams brings up an important point, and that is traffic and pedestrian safety. Montgomery County is not yet four months into 2013, and we have now had our sixth(?) pedestrian death. Those of us who use our roads, highways and sidewalks, whether as motorists or pedestrians must be mindful of safety at all times.
Vs March 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM
I know Telma and I know she would not purposely hit anyone. She is a loving and caring individual. My prayers go out to both families,
Joe Thomas March 22, 2013 at 01:17 PM
I wonder if you even bothered to read the story. The guy crosses Clopper Road and gets hit by a bus that has the right of way and you speculate on "lead footed bus drivers". I have never seen a speeding bus. If anything they go under the speed limit.
KS March 22, 2013 at 03:45 PM
....and out of those 6 pedestrian deaths, what percentage were people 1) Not crossing in the crosswalk (Jay walking) or 2) crossing in the crosswalk AGAINST the signal, I'm pretty sure it would be about 96%....too many stupid people out their think they are entitled to stare down and oncoming vehicle. Regarding this situation, I doubt the bus was going at an unreasonable speed, if the reports are accurate and the victim was crossing the road in dark area (Jaywalking) well then he deserves to get hit, he should not have been stupid and it cost him his life and my sympathies go to the bus driver who had to endure someone else's thoughtless decision.
sl heyde March 22, 2013 at 04:49 PM
@KS...you are a horrible human being for saying that the pedestrian deserved to get hit and that he should not have been stupid. That is the most horrible thing that you could say in the face of this tragedy. People make mistakes and yes it cost him his life. But to throw that out there for people to read you are just a miserable human being I wish it had been you instead.
Carolina Sanchez March 22, 2013 at 06:38 PM
@si heyde although you have a very "mild point" wishing someone else got hit is no better than calling someone stupid, we should never wish anything horrible on anyone... @ks it was an accident thats why its called an accident. I dont blame the driver, bus drivers make it their job to drive safely.. especially when being a school bus driver. I think that jaywalking is dangerous and illegal for a reason, when people don't follow safety percautions ( cross walks, lights) circumstances like this happen. As pedestrians we can't assume people see us at all times, that's why lights , cross walk and other road signs were invented to keep us safe. I feel so bad for the Pezditz family , losing a family memeber is one of the most dificult things to go through, with that said I also feel very bad for the bus driver as well, to have to deal with this tragedy because a pedestrian made a bad decision to cross a very dangerous dark road . My prayers are with both familes.
jnrentz1 March 22, 2013 at 09:32 PM
sl heyde: Thank you for your statement. Sharon Adams: Thank you for your statement. Please be cafe as you operate a motor vehicle or as you act as a pedestrian. More Americans, are killed in traffic crashes and mishaps than by guns in America.
cmc March 22, 2013 at 11:52 PM
There are alot of facts about what happened that are not posted...I read lots of comments that have been said with not much thought....my heart goes out to both parties, no one chooses to wake up and die that morning...now anyone that travels right there on that street knows that their are speed camera's on each side of the street right around the accident, there fore why would the driver be speeding? She was going 35 in a 40.... The buses are built with a GPS and speed box inside like a black box, the buses can be watched from a computer anytime...where they are and how fast they go, when they even open the door with their lights on, the county knows what goes on with the buses all the time...What would be a better question is why was the guy jaywalking on top of a hill on a four lane busy street, crossed two lanes in the left when hit bus the drivers side of the bus
cmc March 23, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Didn't he see a 30 foot bus with lights on the top and a strobe light on the roof? Or was he just another one saying to himself I'll beat the bus???? Unfortunately if that's the case he lost...my heart goes out for the bus driver because like another said because of this man's poor choice he's not here and the bus driver is now dealing with much mental pain....We as bus driver's have much responsibility behind that wheel everyday, we go through every year with much training...This you can not be prepared for no matter who you are... We as bus drivers see so many careless mistakes by other drivers in cars and people walking the street..we can see things happen before they happen...accidents happen....How many times am I over by lakeforest mall where there are cross walks and signs that say state law to stop for walkers...How many cars stop...not many...I have even put my red stop sign out to help at those cross walks to cross safely....so bus drivers are very safe or why would u send ur kids on our buses and not drive them yourself....I know this driver as my co-worker and she's a wonderful person... now due to one persons poor judgement ,the busdriver is now dealing with a humans death.... put urself in both parties shoes and use common sense before posting negitive comments....god bless both parties and remember god never made perfect!!!!!!
sarah gnago naomi cambell March 24, 2013 at 03:11 PM
I really feel bad :-( but its to late to help and may GOD bless him and may he be in Heaven peacefully and may be a peacemaker in Heaven
Marjorie Johnson March 25, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Mr. George was one my of the best Metro Access drivers around that I have dispatched for in my 9+ years being with the company. He was always very pleasant to his customers and coworkers...always willing to go the extra mile without a thought. I don't know why Mr. George crossed the street where he did but I know that he was on his way to work because he loved his job. We were looking to hear Mr. George's cheerful voice during pullout time for his 7:30 route but did and felt it was odd and even though we in the Call Center that dispatch for Challenger had to inform some of our other drivers of the accident never did we know that it was an accident that had taken the life of one of the nicest men ever. I will not comment on the negativity in some of these post but WE as humans have no problem being the pot that called the kettle black...& if we could go back and do something that we fudged up the first time over again most likely we would BUT our tomorrow isn't promised...my prayers go out to both families because the driver will be haunted by the vision and knowledge that she took the life of another human being even though it was an accident...she needs our prayers now also. To Mr. George's family....my, our(Natalie, Tameika, Geovanna, & Charnita ~his dispatchers) prayers our with you and we will miss him dearly.
sallie dukes March 26, 2013 at 12:05 AM
K S you could have really kept your STUPID remarks to yourself, speaking of stupid people, oh sorry i guess u looked n the mirror already.
sallie dukes March 26, 2013 at 12:19 AM
Marjorie is so right, keep all n prayer and try to always love One another as George has done. Bottom line, grow up and be more like him.
Lisa S March 27, 2013 at 01:05 AM
I won't even acknowledge the ignorant people that posted. All I can do is pray for you as well. I too had the honor of working with George. We went through training together and were the last two standing from our class. He was such a nice man and took pride in his work. We were just sitting and talking a few days prior. So all of you that negative comments, please understand that each day is not promised to us. You could be on your way to work, school, etc. as normal and it could be your last time. My prayers are with both families, as this must be very difficult for the bus driver as well. Heaven has truly gotten an angel.
kfp April 13, 2013 at 01:50 AM
I know George's daughter and you people need to think about the family of the man who lost his life before you post such disrespectful conments. He was a father, a husband, a grandfather, a brother, and a friend. Have some respect.


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