Victim was nuclear physicist treating cancer patients

WESTMINSTER, Md. - The crushed metal, shattered glass and crumpled air bag visible inside the late model Toyota Tundra showed the force of the crash on a wide open stretch of Route 140 at the Carroll-Baltimore County line.

Greg Shipley of the Maryland State Police says investigators are still trying to determine why William Mark Lehr of Westminster crossed the center line directly into the path of an oncoming Toyota Corolla.

"He struck her car and sent that into the path of another eastbound vehicle, which struck her vehicle and upended it on the driver's side.  She was pronounced deceased at the scene."

Ironically, the victim, 32-year old Ruchita Pandya, had forged a career centered on saving lives working as a specialist in nuclear medicine at the Carroll Regional Cancer Center in Westminster.
Radiation oncologist, Dr. David Salinger, says she was a vital member of his team.

"She is a young woman, a professional really just starting out in her career, and her career is helping to save lives or  at least to make sick people feel better.  As a medical physicist, she's a vital part of the whole treatment program with radiation therapy---really the technical backbone."

Dr. Salinger says the young physicist balanced a commitment to her work with her role as a loving wife and the mother of a two-year old.

A spiritual person, he adds she was devoted to her colleagues, her family here and her extended family in India.

"She will be very sorely missed by everyone that she worked with.  She touched everyone in a very good way."

The driver of the truck that caused the accident suffered non-life threatening injuries and no charges have been filed while the crash is still under investigation.

The collision happened at 5:15pm Tuesday, as the evening commute got underway, and anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call the Maryland State Police Westminster Barrack at 410-386-3000.

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