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Girls struck on bike

July 25, 2003|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown City Police were searching for a man who drove his sport-utility vehicle into a child's bike on High Street Thursday evening, injuring a 9-year-old city girl.

The injured child, Ashley Ahalt, of the 400 block of West Franklin Street, did not appear to be seriously injured, police said.

Neighbors and onlookers crowded the corner of West Franklin and High streets following a 7 p.m. collision between an SUV and a Huffy bicycle on High Street. Emergency workers tried to console an 8-year-old girl who police said apparently was riding on the rear pegs of the bike at the time of the incident.

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Emergency workers transported Ahalt, who was in the bike's seat, to Washington County Hospital, according to police. Sgt. Fred Wolford said hospital workers were taking X-rays of Ahalt. He said her injuries did not appear to be serious.

Ahalt's grandmother, Charlotte Keck, said the youngster was alert and talking when the ambulance took her away from the scene.

"I'm not even sure what happened," Keck said. "Her ankle may be broken and she complained her back hurt."

Investigating Officer Sean Flanagan said police were looking for a white man with dark hair and a goatee, driving an older-model blue Chevrolet Blazer with white rims in connection with a collision near the intersection of West Franklin and High streets.

Flanagan said the driver struck the bike on High Street, continued past the scene, drove the wrong way on Church Street and was last seen on Salem Avenue heading toward Cedar Lawn.

Three hours after the collision, police had not found the driver, Wolford said.

Witnesses said the driver of the Blazer drove through the intersection on High Street, hit the bicycle carrying the two girls and drove away.

"He hit them, stopped to see what he did and then just took off," said Mike Frederick, of High Street.

Witnesses said the driver did not stop when a man tried to stop the SUV.

"I jumped out in front of it and told him, 'Stop; you hit a kid,'" said Darren Hawkins, a High Street resident. "I jumped out of the way."

Frederick said he does not let his son or nephew ride in the street because he believes the intersection is unsafe.

"It's the first time in five years I've seen a kid get hit out here, but I've seen four accidents," Frederick said. "It's a dangerous intersection."

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