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Fund started for ambulance crash victims

November 29, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Three of the people who were on board an ambulance that crashed in Howard County, Md., provided medical service to the Washington County community in one way or another in recent years.

That community now has the chance to help their families and the pregnant woman they were transporting during the accident that left one adult and an unborn child dead.

A fund has been established to help families of the people injured in a Nov. 18 Interstate 70 crash, according to a news release from Washington County Health System. The release states that the fund will be open until Jan. 1, 2005, and that all money raised will be distributed equally among the families of the victims, unless those making donations specify whom they want to receive the money.

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Washington County Hospital spokeswoman Maureen Theriault said the fund was created after several hospital employees and people from Mid-Maryland Medical Transport, the company that owns the ambulance that crashed, said they wanted to make contributions to the families.

Theriault said many employed in the industry locally were immediately affected by the incident because some of their own were injured.

"There were several health-care providers on there," Theriault said. "People wanted to demonstrate, tangibly, that they cared about these people and wanted to help."

Maria A. Williams, 22, of the 400 block of Sumans Avenue in Hagerstown; John H. Bagley, 34, of the 500 block of Church Street in Hagerstown; and Robin A. Banfe, 31, of the 11000 block of Crystal Falls Drive in Smithsburg, spent several days at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore with injuries. Williams, who was pregnant at the time of the crash, and Banfe, a nurse riding in the ambulance, were released over Thanksgiving weekend, a trauma center spokeswoman said Sunday.

Bagley, a paramedic, was moved to an unspecified rehabilitation center last week, a spokeswoman has said.

The ambulance driver, Jeanette M. Roseberry, 27, of the 18000 block of Herr Lane, west of Boonsboro, was pronounced dead at the accident scene.

Police said last week that Williams' unborn child died as a result of the accident, as well.

The Baltimore-bound ambulance traveled through the center grass median and collided with a flatbed tractor-trailer in the westbound lanes of Interstate 70, Maryland State Police said. The cause of the crash has not been released.

Theriault said the fund is managed by Antietam Healthcare Foundation, a sister fund-raising organization of the hospital.

People wishing to make donations can send checks to: Antietam Healthcare Foundation, attention Danni Lyles, 251 E. Antietam St., Hagerstown, MD 21740. People making donations are encouraged to write on the memo line that the money is to be earmarked for the Mid-Maryland Transport Accident Victims Fund and, if desired, a specific victim for whom the donation is being made.

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