Rene Antonio Hernandez Jr., 32, of Olney, was driving this 2009 Honda Civic near Leisure World in September 2019 when he was hit by multiple cars particpating in a drag race along Georgia Avenue. He died at the scene. Credit: Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office

A Silver Spring man faces up to 10 years in prison for his role in a drag racing incident in September 2019 on Georgia Avenue near Leisure World that resulted in another man’s death.

A jury in Montgomery County Circuit Court found Noe Daniel Suriel, 29, guilty on Thursday for driving a motor vehicle in a race or speed contest, and gross negligent manslaughter by motor vehicle for his role in the death of Rene Antonio Hernandez Jr., 32, of Olney, according to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office. 

According to the state’s attorney’s office, Suriel was driving a 2018 Dodge Challenger north on Georgia Avenue on Sept. 6, 2019, while racing with a 2014 Infiniti Q50S and a 2004 Ford Explorer.

Hernandez was driving a 2009 Honda Civic and was attempting to make a left turn onto the entrance ramp of eastbound MD 200 (the ICC) when a collision occurred with the Challenger and the Explorer, according to a news release. 

“The Challenger swerved in front of the Civic making glancing contact between the rear portion of Challenger and front bumper of the Civic,” the release read. “The Infiniti then struck the Civic, spun off and was struck by the Explorer.”

An investigation showed that Suriel was driving at 106 mph five seconds before hitting Hernandez’ car, the state’s attorney’s office said.

“Numerous witnesses informed investigators that prior to the collision, the Challenger and Infiniti were traveling at a very high rate of speed, weaving through traffic to pass other vehicles, revving engines at stop lights, accelerating heavily from stop lights, and ‘obviously racing,’” according to a news release.

Suriel’s sentencing date is scheduled for Aug. 19.

The driver of the Infiniti, Camilo Jose Ahumada Serje, 27, of Olney, pleaded guilty to gross negligent manslaughter by motor vehicle in October 2021. He faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence and his sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 1.

Regino Andres Gonzalez Pena, 38, of Gaithersburg, who drove the Explorer, pleaded guilty to gross negligent manslaughter by motor vehicle last month. The state’s attorney’s office said he admitted that he joining the race while it was in progress, and his plea agreement calls for an 18-month prison sentence. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 7.

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@bethesdamagazine.com 

Steve Bohnel

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@bethesdamagazine.com