Driver, 74, succumbs to injuries in Montgomery wreck; wife critical

December 20, 2013

A 74-year-old District man died in a local hospital Friday, three days after he and his wife’s Ford Taurus was hit by a truck in Montgomery County. Valery Alexander Portnoi, of the 3100 block of N Street NW, had been driving the car, police said. His wife, Atalia Portnoi, 72, remained in critical condition Friday.

Shortly before noon Tuesday, in the Derwood area of the county, the gold Taurus was heading north in the right lane of Crabbs Branch Way. A 2008 blue Freightliner truck also was heading north, in the left lane of Crabbs Branch. For reasons still under investigation, police said, the Taurus turned in front of the truck and was struck near the intersection of Indianola Drive.

The Portnois were trapped inside the vehicle before rescue workers took them to Suburban Hospital. The driver and passenger in the Freightliner were not injured. The wreck remains under investigation. Police said that anyone with information can call 240-773-6620, and may remain anonymous.

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Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.
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