Police to set up speed traps at fatal crash area

March 24, 1999|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

In response to emotional pleas from relatives of an 18-year-old woman who died in a March 12 car accident in Hagerstown, city police will set up speed traps in the area where the accident happened.

Aleisha Diane Bagent died after a two-car collision at the intersection of Winter and West Franklin streets at about 8:26 p.m. that Friday.

Tuesday evening, Bagent's mother, her husband's mother and grandmother, and a few residents of the city's West End begged the mayor and City Council members to station police in that area as a deterrent to future speeders.

"I beg you to please stop this speeding on Franklin Street," Bagent's mother-in-law said to the mayor and City Council.

According to police, the other driver involved in the accident, Tony Wesley Gladfelter, 26, of Saint Thomas, Pa., ran a red light and was driving almost 63 mph when he collided with Bagent's car. The speed limit at that intersection is 25 mph.


Gladfelter has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving, participating in a speed contest and running a red light.

He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Gladfelter was treated for minor injuries after the accident and later released from police custody on $75,000 bond.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II and council members expressed sympathy for the family's loss and vowed to increase police presence in the area.

"Your cries are not falling on deaf ears," Bruchey said.

"If her memorial is better speed control on Franklin Street then so be it," Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said.

There should be a police presence and we want people to see that police presence, Metzner said.

City police Capt. Robert Hart said that by this weekend additional officers will watch for speeders in the area around the accident site.

Councilman J. Wallace McClure said the big problem is drivers who run red lights.

Councilman Alfred W. Boyer said city police should look into using radar surveillance cameras to find speeders.

Hart said cameras are being used in other parts of Maryland to try to catch drivers who run red lights. However, he was not sure if there were any cameras that could catch speeders.

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