Truck Lands in Pond, One Dead

Officers, Citizens Rescue Other Crash Victims from Water

LA PLATA, Md. (June 13, 2008)—Four occupants of a 1989 GMC pickup truck were rescued by Charles County Sheriff’s officers and passers by when their truck overturned on Poplar Hill Road near St. Peter’s Church Road in Waldorf and landed in a pond. Three of the occupants survived the injuries they sustained in the crash but a fourth died at a hospital.

The Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene of the crash at 8:11 a.m. June 13. Officers R. Williams, R. Kimble and J. Hudson and three citizens rushed into the water and worked to free the four passengers from the overturned truck.

“It is unfortunate this tragedy resulted in a death but if not for the heroic actions of the officers and citizens who rushed into the water, the other three occupants would most certainly have perished,” said Sheriff Rex Coffey. “I am very proud of all the officers and citizens who participated in this rescue and commend them for their bravery and quick-thinking.”

The investigation has preliminarily revealed the truck was traveling north on Poplar Hill Road and was approaching a curve when, for reasons still under investigation, the truck left the roadway and traveled onto the shoulder. The vehicle continued northbound into a grassy area where it struck a drainage pipe before coming to rest on its roof in approximately four feet of water.

One of the passengers was transported to Southern Maryland Hospital Center and was pronounced dead there at 9:13 a.m. The deceased has not yet been identified but was described as an adult Hispanic male about 45 years old.

The driver was identified as Roamin Lopez-Bravo of Riverdale. He is believed to be about 20 years old. The other passengers were Luis Bazquez-Diaz, 38, of Hyattesville and Rudver Velasquez-Jacob, 19, of Riverdale.

The three were flown by a U.S. Park Police helicopter and a Maryland State Police helicopter to Prince George’s Hospital Center where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

It does not appear alcohol or speed were factors in the crash.

Officer Williams, who is assigned to the traffic operations unit, is investigating.

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