Eastern graduate dies in car accident

Sept. 27, 2004, midnight | By Clair Briggs Shannon Egan | 16 years, 9 months ago

Friends and family mourn Blake junior's death

Sixteen-year-old Alicia Maria Betancourt, a Blake junior and Eastern Magnet graduate, was killed on the night of Sept. 24 in a car accident when the driver of the car she was in lost control of the vehicle and hit a telephone pole, according to the Washington Post article "Silver Spring Teen, A Budding Artist, Dies in Crash."

The driver, James Blake High School senior Hersh Kapoor, also 16, spun out of control on Norbeck Road in his Volkswagen Jetta. Betancourt was pronounced dead at the scene and Kapoor was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Kapoor was in stable but critical condition as of Sunday morning, according to the article.

The article also mentioned that speed may have been a factor in the accident. According to The Washington Post , the Jetta slipped onto the shoulder of Norwood Road and when Kapoor tried to get back on the road, he overcompensated and caused the vehicle to spin and run into a telephone utility pole.

Many Blazers have been affected by Betancourt's death. Betancourt was in the Magnet Program at Eastern Middle School and continued friendships with many of her friends from middle school, according to Blair junior Doug Friedman.

According to both friends and family, Betancourt had a lot of potential. She was an accomplished artist and had her work published in Stone Soup, a magazine of stories, poems and art by children, according to The Washington Post . She was also an honors student and a member of the Poms squad. "She was obviously going somewhere," said Friedman.

Students at Blair and Blake alike mourn Betancourt's death. According to Blake junior Amanda Kaplan, one of Betancourt's best friends, she was "one of sweetest, nicest people" she'd ever met. "She loved everybody, and everybody loved her," said Kaplan.

Another friend, Blake junior Chris Murphy, said, "Alicia was one of those girls you would see walking down the hallway, smiling, and it would brighten your day. [She was] almost like an angel out of place."

In remembrance of Betancourt, friends went to the site of the accident at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and returned again on Sunday with flowers and cards. Several Blair students that attended Eastern with Betancourt also met on Sunday to make posters of her pictures and share memories, said Blair junior Sam Silsbee.

Even students that did not know Betancourt were touched by her death. Blair junior Sarah Rumbaugh said, "Just thinking about what happened to Alicia makes me think it could happen to anyone, it could be any of my friends." Lissa Friedman, mother of Doug Friedman, said, "It's upsetting even if you didn't know her very well."

According to an ABC 7 News report, Betancourt was one of five teenagers who died this weekend in car crashes in Montgomery County. There were three separate accidents, all of which involved cars that veered off the road and struck stationary objects, a tree in one case and a telephone pole in the other two instances.

Friends and relatives can pay their respects at the Collins Funeral Home, located at 500 University Blvd West in Silver Spring, on Monday Sept. 27 between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. On Tuesday, Sept. 28, family and friends are also invited to the Mass of Christian Burial at St. John the Baptist Church, located at 12319 New Hampshire Ave in Silver Spring at 10:30 am.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Alicia Betancourt Scholarship Fund, c/o James Hubert Blake High School, 300 Norwood Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20905.

To see The Washington Post article "Silver Spring Teen, A Budding Artist, Dies in Crash," click here. For the original ABC 7 News report, click here. Betancourt's obituary published in The Washington Post on Sept. 26 and 27 can be found here.

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Clair Briggs. Clair Briggs is a junior in the Blair Magnet. She's really excited to be a part of Silver Chips this year! In her free time, Clair likes to spend time with her friends and she likes to eat Chipotle. She loves country music, California, and … More »

Shannon Egan. Shannon Egan is excited to be a second semester senior. Her hobbies include napping, cleaning her room, making friendship bracelets and listening to the Spice Girls. Shannon's favorite television shows are Alias, The O.C., American Dreams and Desperate Housewives. She enjoys ponies, puppies and everything … More »

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