Car crash kills AU student, injures another

One AU student was killed and another is in stable condition today after an early morning car accident in Silver Spring, Md. Wednesday.

Thomas Peter Gallagher, 21, died when the car he was riding in veered off16th Street, struck a sign and a tree, then overturned at approximately 1:25 a.m., Montgomery County Police Officer Joyce Utter said. The driver of the 1997 Ford Escort, Joshua Musicant, was transported to Washington Hospital's Medstar Unit.

Two other passengers, Matthew Donahue, 19, and Alan Shvetz, 18, escaped injury.

Police received unconfirmed reports that the students had been at a Cleveland Park bar prior to the accident, Utter said. It is unsure, however, whether alcohol was a factor in the wreck, she added.

Maryland law requires that the driver of the car in any accident resulting in a fatality submit blood samples to determine if any alcohol was in his or her bloodstream, Utter said. The official results -- sent to Maryland's state police crime lab -- could take a month or more.

The cause of the collision is under investigation by the Collision Reconstruction Unit. Findings listed in that unit's "very detailed report" will take up to four weeks to surface, Utter said.

Gallagher was a student in the College of Arts and Sciences.

At press time, AU had not released an official statement about the accident.

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