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A Question of Substance


Usually it’s the Supreme Court justices who get to ask the tough questions. But every so often, prominent public figures come to Georgetown, and undergraduates glean the rare opportunity to ask questions in return.

Last Wednesday, those who attended Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s lecture received an index card where they could write one question for Sotomayor to answer during the standard post-lecture question-and-answer session — a Gaston Hall standard that usually fosters a candid discussion and enriches university programming. In Wednesday’s case, however, the questions were screened and posed by a university official, rather than the student or event attendee who originally wanted an answer.

Family of trucker killed in Beltway crash desperate for answers

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- Dennis Frampton, 47, was a devoted father and community volunteer who had raised two kids and had been married nearly 30 years.

"Everything he did in his life was for his family," said Vicki Frampton through tears.

Frampton was the Halethorpe, Md. truck driver who died in an accident with his tractor-trailer Friday, Feb. 19 that closed the Capital Beltway in both directions for nearly six hours.

RELATEDDriver of tractor trailer in fatal crash on Beltway identified

Now, Vicki Frampton wants to know more about what went wrong and is hoping that witnesses will contact Maryland State Police investigators with information.

FOUND: 45-year-old woman from Bethesda

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) – Police have located the missing 45-year-old woman from Bethesda. 

Faye Elliot Thorlacius was last seen around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night in her home located in the 7000 block of Natelli Woods Lane. 

Police and family were concerned for her emotional and physical well-being. 

Thorlacius was described as a white female, 5-foot-6-inches tall, weighing 140 pounds. She has green eyes and brown hair. 

She was thought to be driving a 2015 white Land Rover LR4 with Maryland tags. 

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Bethesda man killed in single vehicle crash

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- A 38-year-old Bethesda man is dead after a single vehicle crash Tuesday night, Maryland State police said. 

The crash happened around 7:47 p.m. on northbound I-270 ramp to I-370. Police identified the victim as Michael Garth Thomas, 38, of Bethesda. 

The investigation shows that Thomas was on northbound I-270 at the ramp to I-370 when he lost control of his car, hit the guardrail and then became airborne. His vehicle landed on the other side of the guardrail. 

Thomas was transported to the hospital where he died. Police do not believe alcohol was a factor. They say he may have suffered a medical emergency before the crash. 

Police continue to investigate this crash. 

WUSA9 helps dig people out of the snow

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- As the D.C. area continues to dig out after the blizzard of 2016, Tuesday's relatively warm temperatures seemed to make that heavy snow tougher to shovel out.

So WUSA9 went around the streets of Montgomery County in Sheehy Storm Tracker 9 with a shovel in search of someone who could use a hand.

It wasn’t long before Lillian Ellis spotted us. 

"They’re coming to help me clean this snow off!  And when you walked over, I was like oh yes! You can help me!" Ellis said. 

Woman trapped in snow-covered car for 3 days rescued​

Ellis and her daughter Alyse faced a daunting challenge: digging out her car, buried under more than a foot of heavy snow.

WUSA9's Lesli Foster speaks at MLK Day breakfast

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- WUSA9's Lesli Foster delivered a keynote addresses at a breakfast on Martin Luther King Jr. day to discuss the portrayal of African-Americans in the media.

At the breakfast, which was hosted by the Montgomery County chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Foster also spoke about the responsibilities people have to live up to Dr King's legacy. 

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Woman killed in Bethesda accident worked at daycare center

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- The woman killed Tuesday morning after she was hit by Montgomery County bus worked at a daycare center just blocks from the scene of her fatal accident.

Staff members at Guiding Star Child Development Center in Bethesda were shocked to learn that their co-worker Devika Gunasekere died while trying to cross Old Georgetown Road.

Gunasekere was crossing the road at Battery Lane when she was hit by a Montgomery County Ride-On bus turning left from Battery Lane onto Old Georgetown Road.

Detectives say they are investigating what the traffic signal and pedestrian signal were showing at the time of the accident, but Gunasekere was in the crosswalk.

The Guiding Star Child Development Center is located about 600 feet from the scene of the accident. 

Woman struck by Ride On bus in Bethesda dies

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- A woman was struck by a Ride On bus and critically injured early Tuesday in Bethesda died of her injuries, Montgomery County police said.

The victim has been identified Devika Gunasekere, 67, of Rockville and police say she was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries where she later died.

The driver of the bus has been identified as  Kenneth Mullen, Jr., 44, of Montgomery Village and police say he was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  

Gunasekere was hit around 7:50 a.m. on Old Georgetown Road and Battery Lane, according to authorities. There was four other people on the bus and police say they were no injured at the time of collision. 

Crash reconstruction responded to the scene. 


MISSING: 17-year-old Bethesda male

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- A 17-year-old male is missing from Bethesda, Montgomery County Police said.

Police are searching for Tejin Thomas, 17, who was last seen on Sunday around 9:30 p.m. He is believed to have left his home by Uber.

Thomas is described as 5'8" tall and 125 pounds. He has brown eyes, and short black hair, according to authorities. He was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and blue pants when he was last seen. Police said Thomas was also carrying a duffel bag.

The teenager left messages that had suicidal statements before leaving his home Sunday night. His family and police are worried about his emotional and physical welfare. He has not been heard from since he left.

In addition, police are trying to find the Uber driver who picked him up from his home.

Santa rides to help kids at The Children's Inn

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Montgomery County police tradition continued Wednesday as Santa traded in his sleigh for a Harley to bring gifts and donations to the families at The Children's Inn in Bethesda. 

The inn provides a home away from home for seriously ill children and their families while the child is getting treatment at the National Institutes of Health. 

Santa and his elves on motorcycles rolled up to ten locations across the county, transforming Jennifer Roy’s routine trip to the grocery store into an adventure.

"I was just here to shop and someone in the store was nice enough to let us know Santa was here," Roy said. 

Her three-year-old son Aidan and his friend were enthralled when they met Santa for the first time. But it wasn’t just children caught up in the excitement.