Police log

December 11, 2003

No information on burned woman's death

City police and fire officials postponed the release of information Wednesday on the death of a woman burned in a fire last month after her autopsy was pushed back several hours.

Hagerstown Police Department Lt. Rick Johnson said the Brenda L. Hitt autopsy, performed Wednesday at the Medical Examiner's Office in Washington, D.C., was delayed until 1 p.m. Because of the delay, an announcement on the findings, including the manner of Hitt's death and the cause of the fire, likely will be made today, Johnson said.

Johnson declined to comment on the findings.

Hagerstown Fire Department Captain Brian Pile said Wednesday evening that Hagerstown Fire Marshal Tom Brown, who attended the autopsy, would not be available for comment until today. Several attempts to reach Hagerstown Fire Chief Rick Kipe on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Hitt, 47, of 39 E. North Ave., suffered severe burns when her first-floor bedroom caught fire Nov. 30, firefighters said. Hitt was pronounced dead Tuesday at the Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.


- Brian Shappell

Four injured in three-vehicle crash

Four motorists suffered minor injuries during a three-car crash on Cearfoss Pike at Garden View Road Wednesday evening, according to Maryland State Police.

Police said the crash occurred at 5:19 p.m. when an eastbound 1981 Cadillac, driven by Charles E. Miller Sr., 79, of 17451 Cindy Lane in Hagerstown, collided with a westbound 2000 Dodge Neon, being driven by Steven C. Rowland, 34, of 204 Daycotah Ave., in Hagerstown.

Police said the Neon then struck a 2003 Honda Civic, being driven by Kelli Dee Palamar, 31, 13121B Pennsylvania Ave., which was stopped on Garden View Road.

Police said Miller was attempting to make a left onto Garden View Terrace. She was charged with failure to yield.

Miller, Rowland and two other passengers in the Dodge - Corbin Rowland, 6, and Zachary Rowland, 10 - were transported to Washington County Hospital. The injuries were not serious, according to police. Police said Palamar did not report any injuries.

A hospital spokeswoman said all four were being treated in the emergency room Wednesday evening and that condition updates were not available.

Pa. man struck on Interstate 81

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - A Norristown, Pa., man was taken to a local hospital Tuesday night after he was struck by a car on Interstate 81 following an accident, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Police said John J. Sprouse's 1998 Saturn for unknown reasons struck the rear of a tractor-trailer at about 9:21 p.m. Tuesday. Out of control, the Saturn left the roadway and rolled onto its roof in the median.

Sprouse, 20, was able to exit his vehicle, police said, but was struck by a northbound 1995 Mercury Sable driven by Steven D. Syverud, of Chambersburg, Pa.

Police said Sprouse was taken to Washington County Hospital for initial treatment. A hospital spokesman said Sprouse no longer was a patient there Wednesday.

A Pennsylvania State Police supervisor from the Chambersburg barrack said Sprouse still was being treated Wednesday for serious injuries, but did not know where. He also said the investigating officer was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

Sheriff's deputies respond to calls

The Washington County Sheriff's Department received the following crime reports:

  • Discovered at 5 a.m. Wednesday, someone had entered the BP gas station, 244 E. Main St., Hancock, and removed a store safe containing cash and change.

  • A green 1996 Ford Explorer parked at 60 Amanda Drive, Smithsburg, was stolen overnight. Discovered missing Wednesday morning, the sport-utility vehicle had Maryland license plate numbers ADL45S.

  • Reported Tuesday afternoon, administrators at Boonsboro High School, 10 Campus Drive, Boonsboro, discovered several musical instruments had been damaged. The damage was estimated at $700.

Driver injured after crashing cement truck

SCOTLAND, Pa. - A Fayetteville, Pa., man received minor injuries Tuesday after losing control of a cement truck, which overturned in a field off Pa. 997, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Harold A. Brechbill, 55, fell asleep behind the wheel of a 1989 International cement truck at about 12:30 p.m., police said.

Cadillac reported stolen from car lot

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. - Police received a report Tuesday of a stolen 1995 Cadillac Seville from a Greene Township car dealership, Pennsylvania State Police said.

The vehicle was taken from East Fayetteville Auto Sales, 5601 Lincoln Way East, sometime between Thursday and Tuesday. Police ask anyone with information about the crime to call investigators at 717-264-5161.

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