Truck skids, kills Pasadena teen along icy road

January 08, 1991|By Alisa Samuelsand Joe Nawrozki | Alisa Samuelsand Joe Nawrozki,Evening Sun Staff Richard Irwin, Mark Bomster and Monica Norton contributed to this story

A 16-year-old Pasadena youth was struck and killed this morning after a truck skidded on an icy road near his home and veered out of control, police and school officials said.

Mark Keefe, a junior at Chesapeake High School in Pasadena, was pronounced dead at the Shock-Trauma Unit in Baltimore about 9:30 a.m. after he had been flown there by State Police Med-Evac helicopter, said a spokeswoman for Shock-Trauma.

Officials at the high school said Keefe, of the 1800 block of Poplar Ridge Road, was walking along that road on his way to school when he was hit by the truck about 7:30 a.m. No other details were available.

It was the only fatality in the region attributed to the snow and icy conditions that formed yesterday.

Snow was expected to begin falling again today in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The National Weather Service called for an accumulation of possibly 3 more inches by sometime tonight.

More snow could fall in Western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore, said Richard Diener, a forecaster for the service.

Tomorrow and Thursday, temperatures will rise into the mid-40s and the sun should appear. Friday will be cloudy with a chance of rain or more snow, with highs in the 30s. Saturday should be partly sunny with highs near 40 and lows in the 20s, the weather service said.

Those areas hardest hit by yesterday's storm delayed school openings today. Harford County schools opened two hours late, while schools in Cecil County, Kent County and the Hereford zone of Baltimore County were one hour late.

The first snowfall of 1991 dumped about 5 inches of snow on the Baltimore area yesterday, but anticipated road difficulties were headed off by city, county and state road crews who put down a base of salt on most primary roadways early yesterday morning and throughout the day.

State Police reported all major thoroughfares in good shape today but many motorists trying to get to work found vehicle locks and doors frozen shut by the 20-degree temperatures.

The storm, which dropped heavy wet snow, also wiped out electrical power to almost 20,000 homes across central Maryland.

Yesterday's snow, which started before dawn, ranged in depth from 2 to 4 inches south and east of the city and 4 to 7 inches north and west of the city, forecasters said.

Forecasters said 2 inches fell at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, 4 inches fell around the Pikesville area and up to 7 inches fell in Westminster.

Schools in Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties and several others around the state closed. City and Anne Arundel County schools opened on time but closed early.

The snowfall twice interrupted operations at Baltimore-Washington International Airport to allow plowing of runways and taxiways.

Vanessa Collins, spokeswoman for the city Department of Transportation, said no major problems were reported on the slushy and wet city streets.

Collins said 110 trucks and 220 personnel were used to plow and salt city streets and were expected back today if the predicted second storm strikes.

The city has adequate supplies of salt with 11,000 tons on hand and still is within the $1.5 million budget for snow removal, Collins said. About 6,000 tons of salt and $300,000 were used in fighting the first snow of winter, which fell Dec. 27 as the last snow of 1990.

In Anne Arundel County, government spokeswoman Louise Hayman said the county was not anticipating any problems with its $330,000 budget allotted for snow removal.

While there were no serious accidents reported on state roads yesterday, there were plenty of others reported.

In Anne Arundel County, for instance, police said there were 41 accidents by 3 p.m., mostly fender-benders. Police also had 37 calls to assist motorists.

Also, there were patchy icy spots on the Bay Bridge, especially the westbound lanes, but no major problems, officials said.

Across the area, 19,783 BG&E customers of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. were without power at one time or another during the snowfall, said Art Slusark, director of public information for BG&E.

By 1:30 a.m. today, all customers had their power restored, Slusark said.

The city had only 53 power outages, Slusark said, but metro counties were not as lucky.

Carroll County reported 6,200 customers without service; Baltimore County, 8,800; Harford County, 1,800; and Howard County, 3,000. Anne Arundel had 430 customers without power, 420 of them in Glen Burnie, Slusark said.

The weight of the snow was the main culprit, he said.

Unlike the season's first snowfall two weeks ago that snarled traffic and caused scores of cars to be abandoned on roads and highways because of icy conditions, yesterday's snow was a piece of cake, highway officials said.

"This is an entirely different storm," Wittman said. "That storm Dec. 27 hit at rush hour and came with colder temperatures," making it difficult to apply salt to fight ice.

"This was an easier storm," he said. "This storm started earlier," allowing workers a chance to apply salt before rush hour.

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