Churchill Student Dies from Bike Accident in Bethesda

Jacob Cassell
Photo | Brandice Heckert

A bicyclist hit by a SUV Wednesday afternoon died from his injuries Thursday morning, authorities said

According to the police, Jacob Cassell, 17, of Wyngate Drive in Bethesda, was riding south on the sidewalk of Old Georgetown Road near Beech Avenue when he fell off his bike and into the road.

Cassel was struck by a 2018 Volkswagen Atlas heading south on Old Georgetown Road shortly before 5 p.m. He was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Cassell died Thursday morning.

The driver of the Volkswagen, 39-year-old Matthew Williams, also of Bethesda, remained at the scene of the collision. Williams was not injured.

Cassell attended Winston Churchill High School in Potomac. Thursday morning Churchill Principal Brandice Heckert wrote in a Twitter post, “Jake, a rising junior, had a kind heart and a contagious smile. He will be greatly missed.”

Heckert also wrote the following to families and staff of the school:

“I am writing to share some devastating news with you this morning.  It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that one of our students, Jake Cassell, has passed away.   Jake was involved in a bike accident yesterday and succumbed to his injuries this morning.  Jake, a rising junior, was the spirit in our building and community.   This past year he was at almost every event as our mascot, and he was proud to be a bulldog.   Counselors will be available starting at 9:00 a.m. Monday August 5th to support students, staff, families, and the community.  As information is shared regarding services, I will forward as appropriate.    I have attached two resources you may find useful when talking to your children.  Jake will be greatly missed.   Please keep Jake, his friends, and his family in your thoughts.”


The police continue to investigate and ask anyone who witnessed the fatal collision to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620. Callers may remain anonymous.

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