Youth fleeing police dies in car crash in Northwest Baltimore Teen had taken auto without permission

January 16, 1991|By Roger Twigg

A 16-year-old West Baltimore boy who was driving a car he had taken without permission from his mother's boyfriend was killed yesterday when he crashed into another car,Baltimore county police said.

"All he was facing were a few traffic violations,"said Sgt.Stephen R.Doarnberger,a police spokesman.

Sergeant Doarnberger said Leon Pitts of the 2800 block of Grantley Road was killed when he was thrown from the 1989 Oldsmobile as it hit another car.

The incident began about 2 a.m. when a Baltimore County police officer spotted a car with three young people inside traveling north into the county on Reisterstown Road at 15 mph to 20 mph, the spokesman said.

As the patrol car began following the vehicle, the driver continued at slow speeds and the occupants periodically turned and looked at the officer, he said.

The officer did a computer check of the vehicle's license that showed the car had not been reported stolen but belonged to a 52-year-old man.

Sergeant Doarnberger said that as the car turned south and headed slowly back toward the city, the officer decided to pull the vehicle over.

As the officer turned on his siren and emergency lights on Park Heights Avenue, about three blocks north of Northern Parkway, the automobile sped off, Sergeant Doarnberger said.

He said the car ran a red light on Northern Parkway and struck an eastbound 1983 Nissan Sentra, driven by Oscar Edward Lewis Jr., 18, of the first block of North Chester Street.

The Pitts youth was killed instantly when he was partly ejected from the car as it overturned after the collision, Sergeant Doarnberger said.

Two passengers in the car, Sean Lennard Smith, 17, and Robert Lamont Bonds, 20, both of the 2500 block of Keyworth Avenue, were treated for injuries at Baltimore County General Hospital and released, police said.

The other car's driver, Mr. Lewis, and a passenger, Raymondo Mathews Jr., 18, of the 2800 block of Pelham Avenue, were taken to Sinai Hospital, treated and released.

Sergeant Doarnberger said the Pitts youth apparently had taken the keys to the car from his mother's bedroom.

The police spokesman said it appears that he fled because he had no driver's license and had not gotten permission from his mother's boyfriend to use the car.

The crash brings to 14 the number of people killed in traffic accidents in the state this year, nine fewer than for this same time last year, according to the Maryland State Police.

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