Hagerstown man who died following fiery crash had history of violations

November 12, 2012|By DAN DEARTH |
  • The engine of a car involved in a fiery crash Sunday night on Jefferson Street in Hagerstown can be seen in the foreground of this reader-submitted photo. The driver died Monday morning at a Baltimore hospital.
Photo submitted by Daniel Demers

HAGERSTOWN — A Hagerstown man who died Monday morning after the car he was driving crashed and burned during a police chase Sunday night had an extensive history of being charged with criminal and traffic violations, according to court documents.

Norman Chavez Frazier, 25, of 1307 Lindsay Lane, died Monday at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Medical Center in Baltimore.

He had a number of charges filed against him since 2004 in Washington County Circuit and District courts, according to online information at the website

The traffic charges include driving without a license, failure to stop at an intersection, negligent driving and attempting to elude a uniformed police officer.

The criminal charges included possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, first-degree assault, first-degree burglary and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Most recently, he pleaded guilty Feb. 24, 2011, to a possession of firearms charge and was sentenced to serve three years in prison, court records show. Online court documents fail to indicate when Frazier was released from prison. The records could not be checked in court Monday because the courts were closed for Veterans Day.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carly Hose said Frazier initially was taken to Meritus Medical Center east of Hagerstown, then flown to the Shock Trauma unit to be treated for burns and other injuries.

She said a deputy conducting speed enforcement tried to stop the 2004 Dodge Neon that Frazier was driving near the intersection of Jefferson Boulevard and Antietam Drive, but the car took off at a high rate of speed.

As the Neon was traveling west on Jefferson Boulevard at about 6 p.m., it entered the city of Hagerstown and struck an oncoming car near Vale Street, officers said. A man, woman and two children who were in the other car were taken to Meritus Medical Center to be treated for minor injuries. Their names were unavailable late Monday afternoon.

Hose said the collision with the oncoming vehicle caused the Neon to go airborne, after which it struck a utility pole and burst into flames.

One witness said the driver of the Neon was “on fire completely.”

As parts of the charred Neon exploded, a bystander and a deputy freed the driver, later identified as Frazier, from the vehicle, according to published reports. A resident who lived nearby used a fire extinguisher to put out flames on the burning man.

Hose said the deputy involved in the chase would not be placed on administrative leave.

“Unlike in the case of a police shooting, the deputy involved in last night’s incident did not cause Mr. Frazier’s death, so the deputy has not been placed on any type of leave,” she said. “The deputy did receive the services of a crisis counselor in reference to this incident.”

Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore and Capt. Mark Holtzman, acting Hagerstown police chief, did not return calls seeking comment.

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