2022 | Courts

Driver convicted of manslaughter in fatal 2020 Fairland crash

Crash happened on Old Columbia Pike near Ruxton Road, according to authorities

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A driver was convicted Wednesday of criminally negligent manslaughter by a jury in Montgomery County Circuit Court following his involvement in a fatal 2020 crash in Fairland.

Danys Martinez Lazo, now 21, of Silver Spring was driving a 2013 Ford F-150 around 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 8, 2020, and was traveling south on Old Columbia Pike, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office. Martinez Lazo’s vehicle crossed the center line and hit head on a 2017 Toyota Camry driven by Jacques Vainqueur, 57, of Silver Spring, who was heading north.

Police said Vainqueur’s Camry was forced backward into a dirt hill on the shoulder and came to rest about 78 feet from the site of the crash. Martinez Lazo’s F-150 flipped and came to rest 68 feet south of the area of impact, police said.

Vainqueur was taken to the University of Maryland Medical Shock Trauma Unit in Baltimore and was later pronounced dead, according to authorities.

Vainqueur’s girlfriend, in the front passenger seat, was taken to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda and was treated for “significant abdominal and hip pain,” according to the State’s Attorney’s Office.

Martinez Lazo was taken to White Oak Adventist Medical Center in Silver Spring and treated for injuries not considered life-threatening, authorities said.

A detective who conducted a speed analysis determined that Martinez Lazo was traveling at 71 miles per hour and Vainqueur was traveling at 30 miles per hour at the time of the crash. Martinez Lazo was traveling at more than twice the posted speed limit, according to authorities.

Martinez Lazo was charged with criminally negligent manslaughter and second-degree assault, according to court records. On Wednesday, he was convicted of the manslaughter charge, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office. He will be sentenced Sept. 9 and could face up to three years in prison.

Allen Wolf, of the county public defender’s office, could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com