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Two are hospitalized after crash on U.S. 40

April 25, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

A collision between two vehicles at the entrance to the Centre at Hagerstown off U.S. 40 Friday sent a woman and a 5-year-old girl to Washington County Hospital.

Maryland State Police Trooper 1st Class Phillip Martin said the 8:03 p.m. accident between a maroon 1994 Chevrolet Corsica and an emerald green 1996 Oldsmobile Silhouette caused the Corsica to flip onto its roof, injuring its occupants.

A Washington County Hospital spokesman said the driver of the maroon 1994 Chevrolet Corsica, Lezley Brand, 40, and the car's passenger, Denver Hailey, 5, were being evaluated late Friday night. Martin said neither were wearing safety belts or child restraints.

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The girl is injured, but "she's going to be fine," Martin said.

Martin said the van's driver, Robert Eugene Howes Sr., 40, and passengers Judith Howes, 35, and Delores Weddle, 64, all refused medical treatment at the scene.

He said both vehicles were headed from westbound U.S. 40 into the shopping center at Garland Groh Boulevard when the car got in front of the van in the turn lane.

Martin said that the driver of the maroon car hit the small concrete divider separating the lanes of traffic in and out of the shopping center. The driver of the car began to lose control of her car going into the turn, he said. The driver of the van couldn't stop in time and crashed into the car, causing it to roll over, he said.

He said the car's passenger rear tire broke the front window of the van.

No charges have been filed against either driver, he said.

As police prodded the accident under a night sky, the maroon car lay on its hood. Its cab wasn't crushed, but instead it perched the car at an angle. The driver's side front wheel was bent inward. The van partially straddled a concrete divider just a few feet before the car, which sat under the glare of McDonald's golden arches.

Groups of people that had been in line for fast-food stopped and stood patiently along the edge of the curb, watching police map out the course of the accident.

Two young blond girls stood in front of a barrier of white flowered bushes, just inches from a few blood-stained handkerchiefs strewn on the lawn.

Hagerstown Police Department officers threw their flashlights on the concrete divider, directing Maryland State Police troopers through the accident, which they had arrived at first. Tracing the path of the two vehicles, officers paced back and forth between the wrecked vehicles and their own cruisers, which were lined along the highway, blocking traffic into the shopping center.

Members of the Hagerstown Fire Department, Community Rescue Service and a Maugansville rescue company were helping at the scene, a CRS member there said.

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