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Children thrown from van

February 04, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

Two children, ages 2 and 4, were thrown from a minivan that wrecked on westbound Interstate 70 Tuesday at about noon, Maryland State Police said.

Trooper 1st Class Ronald Coccodrilli of the Hagerstown barrack said Mary Ellen Podsedly, of Holt, Mich., was driving down South Mountain toward Hagerstown in a 2002 Honda Odyssey minivan with four passengers, including the two children, an adult front-seat passenger and a teenager.

Coccodrilli said he saw some of the occupants before they were taken to the hospital and "there were definitely injuries."

The driver and passengers were taken to Washington County Hospital for treatment, but none of the occupants appeared to have life-threatening injuries, Coccodrilli said.

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Cpl. Richard Poffenberger said the van fishtailed, went off the road, hit the embankment and overturned. The two children sleeping in the back of the van were thrown through the back window, he said.

"Even though safety seats were available, they weren't in them," Poffenberger said.

Driving conditions on Tuesday afternoon on South Mountain included heavy fog, snow and rain at times. The road was slushy even as state crews treated them and continued plowing.

Other vehicles were scattered along I-70 and some seemed to have skidded into embankments and medians.

Staff writer Pepper Ballard contributed to this story.

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