Man Indicted for Manslaughter Related to Fatal March Crash in Potomac

Grand jury returned indictment for two counts related to deaths of two local men

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Firefighters at the scene of the fatal crash that killed Hersh Bhansaly and Brian Everett Laurence on Oaklyn Drive in Potomac on March 23.


A 25-year-old man was indicted for two counts of manslaughter for a March crash in Potomac that left two local men dead.

Daniel A. Epstein turned himself in to Montgomery County authorities this week after a grand jury indicted him earlier this month.

Epstein was released on $20,000 bond after a court hearing on Tuesday, court records show.

News of the indictment was first reported by WJLA.

According to police and court records, just before 8 p.m. March 23, a Ford Expedition driven by a 16-year-old from Derwood and a Mercedes CLA45 AMG driven by Epstein, crashed on Oaklyn Drive.

Two 25-year-old men in the backseat of the Mercedes, Hersh Bhansaly of Bethesda and Brian Everett Laurance of Potomac, died shortly after they were taken to a local hospital. Epstein and another passenger were hospitalized with injuries. The driver of the Ford Expedition and her two passengers—juvenile girls from Potomac and Bethesda—were treated at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda and released.

Laurance, the only child of Joel and Kathy Laurance of Potomac, was an electronics technician at Digital Imaging Technology in Rockville and a graduate of Winston Churchill High School in Potomac.

Bhansaly was an insurance agent for State Farm in Germantown and was also a Churchill graduate.

Reached by phone Friday, Bhansaly’s father, Raj Bhansaly, said Epstein was “reckless in what he did.”

“We are destroyed. You cannot imagine how much pain we are going through,” Raj Bhansaly of Bethesda said.

His son and Epstein knew each other from elementary school, he said.

Bhansaly’s older brother, Ishan, said he’s also known Epstein since childhood.

“It  breaks my heart to know that Hersh is gone and that Danny’s life is also destroyed. I know he has to face consequences for his actions, as we all do, but I take no comfort in seeing another child and another family devastated and destroyed. Hersh wouldn’t have wanted that,” Ishan Bhansaly, who lives in South Carolina, wrote in an email. “We must forgive. Above all else, we must forgive.”

Epstein was released from custody on the condition that he turned in his passport. Court records show that he has been unemployed since February, but previously consulted for his father in real estate. At the time of the crash Epstein listed an address at an apartment complex in West Hollywood. New court paperwork shows him living with his parents in Boulder, Colorado.

He must next appear in court for a scheduling hearing on Aug. 17. Each felony charge in the indictment carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

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