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Panhandler Killed in Middlebrook Road Crash



Most residents had seen him. Many had given him a dollar or two. Many expected the grizzled, rail-thin man who would shuffle up the median on Middlebrook Road and give each car a shaky wave. Maybe we’d pretend we didn’t see him and look away. He won’t be standing at that location anymore.

His name was Richard Lee Cooper. He was 64-years-old. He was killed this morning when the driver of an SUV lost control coming down the hill on Middlebrook Road from Waring Station Road and struck him as he was standing in the median. Richard Lee Cooper was listed by Montgomery County Police as being from an unconfirmed address.


The incident happened at approximately 10:44 am, on Tuesday, June 20. 5th District officers and Fire and Rescue personnel responded to the intersection of Great Seneca Highway and Middlebrook Road for the report of a pedestrian-involved collision.

According to police, the SUV was a silver 2003 Toyota Sequoia, driven by Rachelle Tankeu, 55, of Tilford Court in Germantown, was traveling west on Middlebrook Road. At the intersection with Great Seneca Highway, the Sequoia, for reasons still under investigation, left the roadway and struck a Cooper who was standing on the median.


After striking Cooper, the Sequoia struck a 1998 Ford Expedition that was attempting to make a left turn from northbound Great Seneca Highway onto westbound Middlebrook Road. The driver of the Expedition is identified as Gender Anelio Castillo Flores, 32, of Grey Eagle Court in Germantown.