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Girl hit by van in yard

July 22, 2003|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

Emergency workers rushed a city youngster to the hospital Monday after a van backed over her while she was playing in the back yard of her home.

A silver hula hoop was wedged under a Ford Econoline van and a pair of baby blue Princess boots were a few feet away.

Hagerstown City Police said a van driven by Roger B. Seal, 24, of Hagerstown, struck 5-year-old Shania Shockey Monday evening in a parking lot/backyard area behind the first block of East Baltimore Street.

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A Maryland State Police helicopter flew the youngster from nearby Washington County Hospital to Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore for treatment of severe head injuries, according to police.

A Johns Hopkins spokesman said no girls matching her name or description were logged in the hospital's patient information system Monday night.

Police and emergency workers went to East Baltimore Street at 6:56 p.m. for a report of a child trapped under a van.

An unidentified man at the residence said no one there would comment on the incident.

Witnesses said the girl was playing with her hula hoop at the rear of the van.

Matt Townsend, who was working on a car in the back yard, said the driver was traveling slowly in reverse, but the child appeared to be playing in one of the van's blind spots. He said the back passenger-side wheel backed over the upper portion of the girl's body.

"She was playing right behind the van with her hula hoop, but nobody saw her," Townsend said.

Witnesses said they were shaken by the incident.

"It about made me sick," said Joe Townsend, a city resident who also was working on his car nearby.

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