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Cyclists hurt in crash

June 29, 2004|by TARA REILLY and ANDREW SCHOTZ

tarar@herald-mail.com
andrews@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - A woman whose minivan hit a bicyclist on Md. 63, north of Huyetts Crossroads Monday morning had fallen asleep, Maryland State Police said.

The bicyclist, Kim MacDougall, 18, of Massachusetts, was in serious condition at Washington County Hospital Monday night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

MacDougall was part of a group of bicyclists riding 400 miles from Maryland to New Jersey, according to Richard Lewis, a co-leader of the group.

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Two other 18-year-old women in the group - Allyce Roberts of New Jersey and Carrie Walker of Massachusetts - also were taken to the hospital after the crash.

Maryland State Police said the minivan hit all three bicyclists. A witness said the vehicle hit MacDougall and pushed her into Roberts and Walker.

Roberts was treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The hospital had no record of Walker as a patient. Lewis said she also went to the hospital, but was back with the group by late afternoon.

State police identified the driver of the Plymouth minivan as Melody Fisher, 38, of Waynesboro, Pa.

Trooper 1st Class Daniel Souders said that Fisher fell asleep and drifted off the right side of the road shortly after 8:30 a.m. The bicyclists were riding on the shoulder.

The accident closed northbound Md. 63 for about two hours.

Lewis said his wife, Vivian, was riding in front of the women when the minivan hit MacDougall, which sent her into Walker and Roberts, who were in front of her.

Lewis said his wife did CPR on MacDougall, who was unconscious after the accident. An emergency technician traveling with the bicyclists and another who was driving by on Md. 63 stopped and assisted.

"She was not responsive at all," Lewis said of MacDougall.

Lewis said she regained consciousness at the scene and was able to blink her eyes when asked, but could not talk.

"Every time she talked, she coughed," Lewis said.

The bicyclists' group is called Venture Adventure, said Larry Aikens, the pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Temple on U.S. 40 near Huyetts Crossroads, where the group spent Sunday night.

"Venturing is a youth development program of the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years of age," according to the Web site for the Burlington County (N.J.) Council of the Boy Scouts.

Lewis said the group was riding from Friendsville in western Garrett County, Md., to New Jersey.

Lewis said the bicyclists, who were traveling in five groups, were on the third day of a trip. They arrived Sunday afternoon at Emmanuel Baptist Temple on U.S. 40.

Twenty-five people were in the group, including some adults.

Two of the five groups had just left the church Monday morning for their next stop in Carlisle, Pa., when the accident happened. They were to arrive in New Jersey on Saturday.

After the accident, members of the bike group sat behind Emmanuel Baptist Temple, waiting for word on the injured women.

"Everybody's a little flipped out right now," Lewis said. "We just wish these kids well. They're good kids."

Lewis said a church at which they were to stop in Carlisle offered them rides there.

Instead, Emmanuel Baptist Temple loaned the group some vans and let them drive to Carlisle, Aikens said.

Members of the group later returned the vans and drove back to Carlisle in vehicles that had been accompanying the riders.

MacDougall's family came to Washington County Hospital to be with her, Aikens said.

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