- The Washington Times - Friday, April 13, 2007

Investigators in the road-rage crash that killed two motorists on Interstate-270 said yesterday a witness has provided a description of a driver who fled the scene.

State police have released a sketch of the driver based on the witness description. The driver purportedly caused the accident Wednesday that killed Christian M. Luciano, 28, and his girlfriend Lindsay L. Bender, 25, both of Harrisburg, Pa.

Police said the witness described the driver as a white male in his 30s with light brown hair to the middle of his neck and wearing a dark-colored baseball cap.

The witness also said the driver was angrily pounding the steering wheel with both hands, and there was an object hanging from the rearview mirror of his pickup, police said.

The sketch was released late Thursday, the same day members of Miss Bender’s family offered a $5,000 reward for the person who gives information leading investigators to the driver of the truck.

State police 1st Sgt. Russell Newell said investigators didn’t have a license plate number or state but were looking for a green 1990s or early 2000 Chevy Silverado with a diamond-pattern bumper.

Mr. Luciano and Miss Bender were traveling south on I-270 near Frederick, Md.,when they swerved off the road shortly after 8 a.m., police said.

Mr. Luciano was trying to avoid the truck, which police think “deliberately and abruptly stopped” in front of him.

The victims’ car, a 1998 Chrysler Sebring convertible, crashed through a guardrail, hit several trees and overturned, police said.

Witnesses said both drivers were exchanging obscene gestures and appeared to be speeding when the incident occurred.

Sgt. Newell said neither victim appeared to be wearing a seatbelt and that they and their dog were thrown from the car. Mr. Luciano and Miss Bender died at the scene.

Sgt. Newell said a passer-by saw an uninjured dog near the crash scene and later took it to animal control. Police said family members of one of the victims was arranging to pick up the dog.

Sgt. Newell said motorists should avoid aggressive drivers and either call state police by dialing #77 on a cell phone or call 911.

“We say just back off,” he said. “It’s not worth losing life and limb over a few seconds in traffic.”

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call the state police’s Frederick Barrack at 301/644-4151.

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