Williams in hospital after bike accident

June 04, 2005|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

HAGERSTOWN - Washington County School Board member Russell F. Williams was listed in serious condition Friday night at Washington County Hospital following a Tuesday bicycle accident.

Jacqueline B. Fischer, vice president of the school board, said Williams was injured Tuesday about 3:30 p.m. while traveling on his bicycle to an afternoon ceremony at the Four Points Sheraton honoring members of the school system's Minority Achievement Task Force.

Fischer said the circumstances of the accident remained unclear Friday and she did not know whether Williams was hit by a passing vehicle or fell due to an obstruction in the road. At a minimum, Williams sustained a broken clavicle, bruised liver and possibly other broken bones, she said.


Board member Wayne D. Ridenour said he believes Williams hit something in the road rather than having been struck by a car.

"He apparently hit something that threw him over the front of the handlebars," Ridenour said. "We're just holding our breaths and hoping he's going to be OK."

Board President Paul Bailey said he visited Williams at the hospital on Wednesday and Williams was functional, but in a great deal of pain.

"He was certainly alert and conversant, but he was in a considerable amount of pain," Bailey said.

Bailey said witness accounts suggest Williams might have struck a pothole or the curb of a sidewalk along Mount Aetna Road, causing the accident, though Williams himself was uncertain of the circumstances.

Ridenour said Williams was an avid bicyclist and frequently would commute by bicycle to events, an affinity that often worried his fellow board members.

"He likes to do it; he's always liked to ride his bike," he said.

Ridenour said after being admitted to the hospital, Williams' condition was upgraded to serious. Hospital officials confirmed Williams was in serious condition Friday, though they would not release further details.

Married with two children, Williams is retired from the Washington County public school system. He was elected to his first four-year term on the school board in December 2002. His term expires in 2006.

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