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Driver in critical condition after crash

April 30, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

BEAVER CREEK - One day after a head-on collision on Interstate 70 in Washington County killed a Hagerstown woman, the other driver involved in the crash was in critical condition.

Sharon Dawn Ahrens, 28, of Hedgesville, W.Va., was listed in critical condition Friday night at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

The first driver, Autumn Cheree Mendoza, 23, of Hagerstown, died from the impact of the crash, Maryland State Police said.

Her 1-year-old son, Christian Domingo Mendoza, was properly secured in a child safety seat in her car and was not seriously injured, police said.

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Although police said Christian Mendoza was taken to Washington County Hospital after the crash, a hospital spokeswoman said Friday that there was no record of the boy having been there at all.

Police initially identified the surviving driver as Sharon Dawn Buck. Sgt. Kevin Lewis said Friday afternoon that Buck is her maiden name and Ahrens is her married name.

Police said Ahrens was driving west on Interstate 70 Thursday night.

About 11 p.m., her 1995 Volvo station wagon crossed the median and went into the eastbound lane, hitting Mendoza's 2002 Ford Focus head-on, police said.

The crash happened west of Md. 66.

Lewis said Friday that police still didn't know the cause of the crash.

Anyone who saw the crash, or what happened in the westbound lanes before the crash, may call Maryland State Police at 301-739-2101.

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