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News Release, Maryland State Police-La Plata Barracks

(La Plata, Maryland) – On Saturday, August 1, 2020, at approximately 11:42 p.m., Troopers from the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack responded to a motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian in the 7300 block of Crain Highway, La Plata, Charles County, Maryland. Due to the seriousness of the collision, a Collision Reconstruction Specialist was requested to the scene.

A Preliminary investigation conducted by Troopers indicates a 2015 Kia Optima, operated by Chrystal Butler (48 yoa) of La Plata, MD was traveling northbound US Rt. 301 north of St. Mary’s Avenue. For reasons still under investigation, the victim, who was initially unidentified, was walking in the travel lanes of Crain Highway when she was struck by the Kia.

Butler remained on scene after the collision, and is cooperating with Troopers on the investigation. An independent witness who observed the collision also remained on scene.

The victim was transported by ambulance to the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center, where she succumbed to her injuries in the early morning hours of Sunday, August 2, 2020.

The investigation into the victim’s identity continued through the morning of Sunday, August 2, 2020. While Troopers were working on making an identification, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by a citizen who wanted to report his mother, Francis Lorraine Gehrt (76 yoa) of La Plata, missing.

Cohesive work between the State Police and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office lead to the pedestrian victim being identified as the reported missing person.

The investigation is continuing and being investigated by Trooper Olsen, and reconstructed by Senior Trooper Scarlett, both of the MSP La Plata Barrack.


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...