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Driver Charged with DUI in Head-on Collision, a Tesla Strikes Utility Pole on Orchard Road

Posted April 12, 2023


The following traffic accidents were reported to The Montgomery News this week from the Montgomery Township Police Department:


A Tesla Strikes an Orchard Road Utility Pole

Montgomery police and EMS responded to Orchard Road near Autumn Lane in Skillman on Tuesday, April 11, at 12:35 pm, for the report of a red Tesla that crashed into a utility pole.


A police investigation revealed Lu Zhang, 34, of Skillman, was driving a 2022 Tesla eastbound on Orchard Road when she failed to negotiate the slight curve in the roadway. She ended up driving off the road, before striking a utility pole. Zhang was evaluated by EMS on scene, and refused medical aid.

Due to the damage to the utility pole, electric power was temporarily disrupted — resulting in a malfunction for the traffic signal at US Route 206 and Orchard Road. Orchard Road was closed for a number of hours until PSE&G was able to make repairs.


Police ticketed Zhang for the crash (failure to maintain a travel lane). She is due to appear in

Montgomery Municipal Court. Anyone with information regarding the crash is asked to contact the Montgomery Police Department's Traffic Division at 908.359.3222.


Driver Charged with DUI in Head-on Collision / 3-Car Crash with No Injuries

Montgomery Police responded to Symes Drive in Pike Run Meadows for the report of a three-vehicle crash on March 10 at 2 pm. Police charged driver Rachel Lowry, 53, of Belle Mead / Hillsborough with DUI, refusal to submit breath samples, reckless driving, and open alcoholic beverage containers in a motor vehicle.


Lowry was negotiating a left turn in her 2019 Mercedes Benz C30 onto Symes Drive when she sideswiped a 2015 Dodge Ram that was stopped at the intersection, according to police. Lowry then continued on Symes Drive where she swerved into the opposite lane of travel and struck a 2003 Lincoln Aviator head-on, causing both vehicles to be disabled.


The drivers of the struck vehicles were Jamie Betancourt, 57 and Howard Whitcomb, 67, both of Belle Mead. None of the drivers involved suffered any injuries as a result of the crashes.


During the course of the investigation, MTPD officers determined that Lowry had been operating her vehicle while under the influence of alcohol/drugs. She was arrested, brought back to the police headquarters where she was issued summonses, then was released into the custody of family members, pending her first appearance in Montgomery Twp Municipal Court.


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Distracted Driving Crackdown Leads to Arrest of a Fugitive

A Montgomery Township police officer stopped a vehicle in the ShopRite shopping center on Route 206 in Skillman while assigned to a distracted driving statewide crackdown on April 10. The stop led to the arrest of a fugitive on a nationwide "Most Wanted" list.


The trouble began when the driver allegedly produced a fake driver's license. Police were able to determine the driver’s true identity as Amira Butler-May, 20, of Philadelphia, PA. Butler-May was charged with hindering apprehension, being an unlicensed driver, and displaying a fictitious registration for the vehicle she was operating. Police released Butler-May, pending a municipal court appearance.


In addition, police checked the passenger’s pedigree information, which revealed he was entered as a wanted person in the National Crime Index by three different jurisdictions in Pennsylvania. The passenger was identified as Travis Mays-Davis, 28, of Philadelphia, PA.


Mays-Davis was charged with being a fugitive from justice and turned over to the custody of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department pending extradition to Pennsylvania. He was wanted for wanted for Access Device Fraud, Theft by Deception, and Receiving Stolen Property.


Car Crash on Belle-Mead Griggstown Road

A driver lost control of her gray Toyota Camry while making a right turn from County Route 533 onto Belle Mead-Griggstown Road on April 1 at 11:23 am.


Police said Susan Rodriguez, 34, of Phillipsburg struck an embankment near the intersection. Her car was towed from the scene. Rodriguez sustained a bruise to her forehead, but refused medical

attention. Police issued a summons for careless driving and a summons for failure to wear a seat belt.


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