Owner could face fines after car totaled by Montgomery Co. school bus

Family says it's getting stiffed by county

A car totaled after being hit by a Montgomery County school bus could start receiving parking fines on Monday if the owner does not remove the car from the street in Silver Spring.

"I was sleeping, I heard a loud crash, I looked outside my window and I saw my car being pushed down the road by a school bus full of children," recalled Aaron Augenbaum of Silver Spring.

All the students on that Montgomery County school bus were fine but Augenbaum's 2012 Huyndai Sonata was not.

It was two weeks ago when that MCPS school bus hit Augenbaum's car, which was parallel parked in front of his home on Arcola Avenue in Silver Spring. The car hasn't moved since.

"The county told me they won't remove the destroyed car, that it's my responsibility to move the car and they're deducting their estimated salvage value of the car from what they're going to pay me," said Augenbaum.

Montgomery County offered to pay about $12,000 for the car. Augenbaum insists it was worth $15,000. His insurance company has yet to make a move, waiting for the county to step up.

"In the meantime, I don't have a car, I can't afford to buy another car, I can't fix this one, I can't replace it," said Augenbaum.

In an email to WUSA9, Montgomery County Public Schools' Spokesman Derek Turner wrote, "The County's self-insurance fund manages bus incident claims in the same manner that personal insurance manages a vehicle claim."

The county had been providing Augenbaum with a rental car until this past Monday. Augenbaum said it’s been an inconvenience and financial drain on his family. His wife now has to drive their two kids everywhere, while he takes an Uber to and from work.
         
To add insult to injury, when the bus hit his car it pushed it to within a few feet of a fire hydrant. So, now his car is crumpled and illegally parked.
Police say Augenbaum has until Monday to move his car before it starts accumulating parking fines.

"It's frustrating, I mean, it's the government. There's a limit to how much you can fight against the government. They don't have to pay up," said Augenbaum, adding that the county told him their offer is non-negotiable, take it or leave it.

"We did everything right where we put ourselves in a position where we had cars and everything we needed and they just destroyed it and took it away and now we have nothing and they won't pay for it," lamented Augenbaum.


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