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Burn victim remains in critical condition

November 12, 2003|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

A 51-year-old Williamsport woman remained at a burn center in Baltimore more than 24 hours after she was flown there following an apparent suicide attempt.

A spokeswoman at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center said the woman was in critical condition Tuesday evening.

Assistant State Fire Marshal Ed Ernst said investigators had no new information on the suicide attempt Tuesday. Ernst said he and other investigators had not read an apparent suicide note the woman left in her minivan before dousing herself in gasoline and setting herself on fire in Byron Memorial Park parking lot at 5:22 p.m. Ernst said State Fire Marshal's Office supervisors expect to read the note in the near future.

Ernst said the woman suffered second- and third-degree burns to at least 75 percent of her body. She was engulfed in flames in a lot adjacent to Byron Memorial Park's pool, a few hundred yards from the main travel artery leading into town.

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Williamsport resident Walter Williams, who was near the park, saw the woman on fire and extinguished the flames with his coat, Ernst said.

Ernst said Monday that "emotional distress" led the woman to the suicide attempt.

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