In near-identical replay of earlier crash, teens' car rams tree

November 26, 1990|By Lynda Robinson

In a crash almost identical to one that killed three young people last month, a car filled with teen-agers -- who police said had been drinking alcohol -- slammed into a tree off Deer Park Road in Reisterstown Saturday night.

But this time, no one died.

"Hopefully, they know how lucky they are," Baltimore County Officer John DeOms said yesterday.

The 19-year-old driver, James Chisnell Jr. of the first block of Rosewood Lane, Owings Mills, and the 16-year-old Owings Mills boy sitting in the front seat next to him were flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where they were in stable condition last night, Officer DeOms said.

The three sitting in the back -- a 15-year-old boy from Pikesville, a 14-year-old boy from Reisterstown and a 14-year-old girl from Owings Mills -- were released after treatment at area hospitals.

Police refused to release the names of the juveniles because they are being charged with alcohol possession.

Mr. Chisnell will be charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and possession of open containers of alcohol in a motor vehicle, police said.

The teen-agers admitted that they were drinking as they rode south on Deer Park Road in Mr. Chisnell's Volkswagen Sirocco about 5:35 p.m., police said. Officer DeOms said he found open beer cans in the car and a half-gallon container of orange juice that was being used as a mixer with liquor.

The car was exceeding the 30 mph speed limit and was in the wrong lane as it approached the intersection with Berrymans Lane, the officer said. He said that Mr. Chisnell lost control when he tried to swerve back into his own lane to avoid an oncoming car.

None of the teen-agers was wearing a seat belt when the car slammed into a tree alongside Berrymans Lane, Officer DeOms said.

It was the same tree that an Arkansas man hit earlier this year in his pickup truck -- an accident that killed him.

The crash occurred less than three miles from the spot on Deer Park Road where three Reisterstown teen-agers were killed last month when their car careered into a tree in that drunken-driving accident.

The twisted wreckage of their car was on display Saturday afternoon at the Middlesex Shopping Center in Essex. Killed in that accident were 18-year-old Jennifer Jones, 14-year-old Caprice Mossner and 22-year-old Lucius Hardwick III.

Only one person -- 17-year-old Terrence Lilly of Reisterstown -- survived the crash. He told police that Mr. Hardwick was drinking wine as he drove at high speed.

Baltimore County police were using the car to dramatize their "Don't Drink and Drive" holiday campaign. But they acknowledged that the message fails to impress some teen-agers.

"With young people like that, they're pretty irresponsible," said E. Jay Miller, a spokesman for the department. "They don't learn."

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