North Potomac Man In Critical Condition After Friday Crash With School Bus

Four vehicles, including a Montgomery County Public Schools bus, were involved in the incident Friday on Clopper Road just north of Game Preserve Road in Gaithersburg.

A 37-year-old North Potomac man was critically injured in a four-vehicle crash on Clopper Road in Gaithersburg Friday that involved a Montgomery County Public Schools bus, police said.

About 1:15 p.m., Kent Behzad Karimi, of the unit block of Polk Court in North Potomac, was stopped in his black 2012 Chevrolet Equinox in the northbound lanes of Clopper Road, waiting to make a left turn into the driveway of Seneca Creek State Park, police said in a statement

Karimi's vehicle was struck from behind by a white 2011 Chevrolet Express van, driven by Jose J. Marez, 39, of the 2200 block of Regina Drive in Clarksburg, police said. The van pushed the Equinox into Clopper Road's southbound lanes, where it was struck by a school bus carrying students from Clopper Mill Elementary School.

The bus was unable to stop and struck the passenger’s side of the Equinox, police said. Six special needs students and a driver’s aid were on the bus.

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. The driver of the Chevrolet van was not injured and remained on the scene to speak with investigators.

A fourth vehicle, a silver 2001 Volvo S40, driven by Denise C. Pareja, 26, of the 13000 block of Open Hearth Way in Germantown, struck a concrete bus stop area on the side of Clopper Road after trying to avoid striking the rear of the Chevrolet van, police said.

Pareja also was transported to a local hospital for a check-up, police said.

The circumstances surrounding the collision remain under investigation.  Investigators are asking anyone who witnessed the incident to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620. Callers may remain anonymous.


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