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Report: Hit-and-run drivers likely to be young, drunk and male

Two hit-and-run deaths in Montgomery County has put a renewed focus on "who would do something like that?"
Credit: wusa9
A 59-year-old woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver at the intersection of Veirs Mill Rd and Ferrara Ave Monday evening.

WHEATON-GLENMONT, Md. — Safety advocates complain it continues to be “open season” on pedestrians in the D.C. metro region. The past 24 hours were particularly bad.

Three people were struck and killed in Montgomery County in just a 7-hour period Monday, according to police agencies. Investigators say two of those incidents involved hit and run drivers.

The first of the two incidents occurred at the intersection of Viers Mill Road and Ferrara Avenue in Wheaton at about 6:20 p.m. A 59-year-old woman was struck and killed by the driver of a sedan, according to police.

Montgomery County investigators released a photo of a blue 2012-2015 Volkswagen Passat as a possible suspect vehicle. No arrests or suspects have been announed.

RELATED: 3 pedestrians killed by vehicles within hours in Montgomery County, police say

Just after 11 p.m., another hit-and-run driver struck a pedestrian who was on the Capital Beltway Inner Loop near Colesville Road, according to Maryland State Police. The victim was identified as Danny Junior Beckford of D.C. 

Beckford's body was found on the shoulder of the highway, according to State Police who are appealing for information or witnesses.

An analysis of national data by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley identified characteristics of drivers involved in hit-and-run incidents.

“Results ... indicate that certain driver demographic characteristics (young, male), behavior (notably alcohol use), and history (e.g., suspended license or history of DWI/DUI convictions) are associated with hit-and-run,” UCB researchers wrote. 

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approximately 19% of pedestrians killed were struck in crashes that involved hit-and-run drivers. Maryland data shows 125 pedestrians were killed in 2021 and eight have died so far in 2021.   

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