Water, sewer rates
to rise 5.5 percent

Residents and businesses in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties will pay 5.5 percent more for water and sewer service starting July 1 under a utility rate increase approved by both county councils Thursday.

The increase affects customers of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), which provides water and sewer service for nearly 2 million people in the Maryland suburbs.

Under the rate increase, a customer who uses 210 gallons of water daily would pay about $4 more per month, WSSC officials said. The increase, which comes after WSSC rates have soared 50 percent over the past six years, is the lowest since 2007, officials said.

WSSC’s board of commissioners is expected to adopt the budget, including the rate increase, May 21.

— Katherine Shaver

Suspect accused
of ordering hit

A Fort Washington man awaiting trial in connection with a car chase that killed a Prince George’s County police officer was indicted Thursday, accused of trying to kill a witness set to testify against him, authorities said.

Kevon Neal, 24, sent a letter from jail trying to solicit a hit against a witness who had testified against Neal in January, officials with the Prince George’s state’s attorney’s office said. That witness is expected to testify against Neal again in June. The January proceedings ended in a mistrial.

Neal also faces manslaughter and other charges after authorities accused him and another man of stealing a car and fleeing from police in the summer of 2012. Officer Adrian Morris, 23, crashed as he pursued the suspects.

— Lynh Bui

S.C. woman killed
in three-vehicle crash

A 72-year-old woman from South Carolina was killed Tuesday in a three-vehicle crash at the northbound entrance to the 495 express lanes on the Capital Beltway in Springfield, Virginia State Police said.

According to the police account, the minivan she was driving braked suddenly at the toll lanes entrance on the left side of the Beltway’s inner loop. A Jeep behind the minivan swerved and was able to avoid colliding with it, but a Mercedes sedan wasn’t able to stop and hit the back of the minivan. The impact spun the minivan around and it struck the Jeep. The Mercedes struck the concrete barrier on the left side of the express lanes and caught fire.

The crash occurred shortly before 3:44 p.m. Tuesday. The driver, Mary Jane Treacy of Bluffton, S.C., and her husband, Thomas M. Treacy, 78, were taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital. She died a short time later. He was treated for his injuries, which police said were not life-threatening.

The drivers of the Jeep and the Mercedes also suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, police said. The cause of the crash remains under investigation, and no charges have been filed in connection with it.

— Robert Thompson