Local: Education

Crash kills Magruder High School senior, two graduates

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Local,Maryland,Education,Alex Pappas

A Magruder High School senior and two Magruder graduates were killed early Sunday morning in Olney after the sedan they were riding in slammed into a tree.

 

Five people were in the 2007 Toyota Corolla when it crashed about 3:11 a.m., said Capt. Paul Starks of the Montgomery County Police Department. The driver has been arrested and is facing charges after police said he fled the scene of the accident.

The wreck occurred on Olney Laytonsville Road at Volunteer Drive, according to police. The driver and another passenger were also injured in the wreck.

Spencer Datt, 18, of Derwood, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was pronounced dead at the scene. Haeley N. McGuire, 18, of Rockville, and John Hoover, 20, also of Rockville, were both seated in the backseat and pronounced dead at local hospitals.

Another passenger, Charles Anthony Nardella, 19, of Gaithersburg, was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Police said Kevin Coffay, 20, of Rockville, the driver of the car, fled the scene before emergency crews arrived. He was apprehended three hours later by police and transported to an area hospital with minor injuries.

"He ran away and we caught him outside his residence," Starks said.

The felony charges he's facing include failing to remain at the scene of an accident, not rendering assistance to an injured person, failing to report an accident to the police and attempting to elude police by foot, online court records state. Bond has been set at $500,000, Starks said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. Starks said blood was taken from Coffay, but it's too early to know if drugs or alcohol were involved.

A phone message left at the Coffay residence was not returned Sunday. But Coffay's Facebook page says he graduated from Magruder in 2009, is studying communications and is a Pi Kappa Phi at James Madison University.

His page lists quotes like "We live for crabs, corn and beer." He also wrote that the slogan for the Magruder lacrosse team is "Our Drinking Team Has A Lacrosse Problem."

McGuire was a senior at Magruder High School, according to Montgomery County School spokesman Dana Tofig. A woman who answered the phone at McGuire's Rockville home declined to comment, but a Facebook page for McGuire indicates that she planned to attend the University of South Carolina.

The other four people in the car had graduated from Magruder High School in 2009 and 2010, Tofig said. Datt's Facebook page said he was in the class of 2014 at High Point University in North Carolina. Hoover's page said he was a student at the University of Maryland.

Starks said it could be weeks or months before an investigation is completed and turned over to the state's attorney's office.

"At that time, the state's attorney's office will determine what if any charges are appropriate," he said.

apappas@washingtonexaminer.com

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