Police log for 3/17

March 17, 2003

Two-car accident sends nine to hospital

A two-car crash in front of Emmanuel Baptist Temple on U.S. 40 west of Huyetts Crossroads Sunday afternoon sent nine people, including eight teenagers with minor injuries, to the hospital, Maryland State Police said.

At 12:33 p.m., eastbound traffic at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Md. 63 was backed up to the church, which is located just over a hill, police said.

Among the vehicles stopped in traffic was a Dodge Ram van holding 11 Oak Hill House residents and a counselor, said Trooper First Class Christopher Barnard.

A 2002 Hyundai Accent driven by Bob Andrew Holmes, 24, of Clear Spring, came over the crest of the hill and rear-ended the van, Barnard said.


Holmes wasn't wearing his seat belt but the airbags deployed, Barnard said.

The speed limit is 50 mph on that stretch of the road.

"He could have been doing the speed limit," Barnard said. "It's just a bad spot on Sundays."

An 18-year-old passenger in the last row of the van said the group had been listening to the radio when suddenly the van jerked.

"The spare tire in the back flew through to the front and we got out real fast," he said.

Rufus McKenzie, 37, the van's driver and Oak Hill House youth counselor, said the group was on its way to Hagerstown City Park.

Oak Hill House is a Department of Juvenile Justice group home located on Independence Road in Clear Spring.

Barnard charged Holmes with negligent driving. McKenzie was charged with driving with an expired license, according to a press release.

Denise Rosenberry, 42, of Fannettsburg, Pa., was in a car with her children just ahead of the van.

"I thought there would be more people pulling over," she said. "I was a little shocked at that."

Holmes was admitted to the hospital and underwent surgery Sunday afternoon, hospital officials said. His condition was good Sunday night.

The eight juveniles were treated at the hospital emergency room and later released, a hospital official said.

Williamsport, Clear Spring, Halfway and Community Rescue Service transported the patients to the hospital.

W.Va. woman treated following I-70 crash

FREDERICK, Md. - A Jefferson County, W.Va., woman was treated for minor injuries and released from Frederick Memorial Hospital early Sunday following a four-vehicle accident on Interstate 70 west of Md. 75, Maryland State Police said.

Jean Gilbert, age unknown, of Kearneysville, W.Va., was the driver of a Chevrolet Lumina that was struck when a Chevrolet Cavalier was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer at 3:30 a.m. and propelled across the remaining westbound lanes, police said.

Also hit by the Cavalier was a Nissan driven by Janine Cook of Frederick, police said.

The driver of the Cavalier, Toya Vickers of Columbus, Ohio, was flown by state police medevac helicopter to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. She was treated and released.

Vickers' Cavalier was disabled in the slow lane due to mechanical problems when the tractor-trailer driven by Steven Schmidt of Hephzibah, Ga., ran into her, police said.

No information was available on whether Schmidt or Cook was injured.

The investigation into the accident is continuing.

Smoke Shack theft is Crime Solvers case

A burglary and theft at The Smoke Shack in mid-January is the topic of this week's Crime Solvers case in Washington County.

Hagerstown City Police said the crime at the 32 E. Washington St. store occurred between 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16, and 1:45 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17.

A window at the front of the store was broken so the thieves could get inside and steal several smoking pipes.

All leads in this case have been exhausted and Crime Solvers is seeking the help of the community.

If anyone knows the person or persons responsible for the crime, Crime Solvers wants to hear about it.

Call Crime Solvers at 301-733-4141. Phone lines are open 24 hours a day.

Callers need not give their names, only the information. If the information leads to the arrest and indictment of the persons responsible for the Crime of the Week, a reward of up to $1,000 will be paid.

Pickup truck, papers damaged by fire

A pickup truck belonging to a newspaper carrier for The Herald-Mail Co. caught fire Sunday morning, causing $2,000 damage to the truck and adjacent house and destroying 59 newspapers.

The Volunteer Fire Co. of Halfway responded to a car fire at 16533 Tammany Lane in Halfway at 7:53 a.m. to find that the truck fire had spread to the house's siding, said fire company spokesman Alan Matheny.

It was extinguished quickly and no one was injured, he said. The fire was ruled accidental, possibly the result of a cigarette burning in the cab of the truck, he said.

Student charged with stealing calculators

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A student at the Franklin County Career and Technology Center in Guilford Township faces charges after a teacher found 11 of the school's calculators in his locker, Pennsylvania State Police said.

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