I-81 collision injures two

September 14, 2000

I-81 collision injures two

By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer

Two women were injured, one of them seriously, in a head-on collision Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 81 about a half mile north of the Maugans Avenue exit.

Maryland State Police said Cameron Elizabeth White, 19, of Nashville, Tenn., was driving a gray Honda Civic DX hatchback south on I-81 when she lost control of her car at about 1:50 p.m.

The Honda crossed the center grass median, fishtailed and traveled into the northbound lane, colliding head-on with a green Grand Marquis driven by Betty Loraine Cordell, of State Line, Pa., police said.

After colliding with Cordell's car, White's Honda came to rest in a ditch alongside the northbound lane.

Trooper Doug Bittinger said White was freed from her car by rescue personnel. She was listed in serious condition at Washington County Hospital Wednesday evening, a hospital spokeswoman said.


Cordell also was also taken to Washington County Hospital, said Bittinger. She was still being treated Wednesday night but a condition was unavailable, the spokeswoman said.

One of two cats in the Honda died.

Bittinger said White's husband was following behind her in another car. He was on the scene shortly after the accident, talking to police and holding the surviving cat. Bittinger said he didn't know why she lost control of the car.

Traffic was tied up on I-81 north for about 90 minutes while crews cleaned up debris from the accident and removed the cars.

The front of the Grand Marquis was pushed in and its front window shattered. The roof of the Honda was peeled back and the front end was mangled.

A microwave, blankets, pillows, bagged lunchmeat, candy bars and a sneaker lay scattered around the Honda.

Bill Mickey of Martinsburg, W.Va., who was traveling behind the Grand Marquis said White had the items tied to her roof. Mickey was on his way to work when he saw the crash.

"I saw the gray car come across the median strip out of control and hit the green car head on," Mickey said.

Mickey pulled over, ran to the cars to check on the drivers and made sure the engines were shut off, he said. He motioned for a truck driver to call 911 and went over to the driver of the Honda.

"She told me that she couldn't feel her legs, and I told her not to move," Mickey said. "It happened in a heartbeat. It just happened so quick."

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