Elderly man on motor scooter killed in crash with unmarked police cruiser in Wheaton

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An elderly man riding a motor scooter was killed Wednesday night after an accident with an unmarked Montgomery County police cruiser, authorities say.

The accident happened around 9:43 p.m. near Veirs Mill Road and Norris Drive in Wheaton.

Police say 74-year-old Loreto Andal Canubas was operating a Sunra Motor Scooter southbound on Monterrey Drive when he attempted to cross over Veirs Mill Road. After crossing the westbound lanes, Canubas entered the eastbound lanes and collided with the unmarked police cruiser driven by Officer Robert Farmer.

Canubas was transported to Suburban Hospital where he later died from his injuries. The officer was not seriously injured.

Investigators are still trying to determine the exact cause of the accident.

Co-workers say Canubas was on his way to work for his overnight shift at a CVS store in Kensington. He reportedly lives about a mile away from the store and has worked at the location since 2006.

Police do not suspect the officer involved was drinking, but a breathalyzer was not performed.

"It's simply not our protocol," said Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks. "There has to be a reasonable suspicion when it comes to an on-duty officer being asked to request or provide a sample by breath for the Intoximeter in Maryland. In this case, there were two captains on the scene - his own captain and the captain in charge of that particular district as well as internal affairs personnel."

Officer Farmer, an 8-year veteran of the department who serves on the Police Community Action Team that monitors special events and crime trends across Montgomery County, has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Four different witnesses reportedly saw the accident as it happened, but police are hoping more witnesses will come forward. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 240-773-6620.