5 die in Cecil as car crosses I-95 median, hits truck 2 young children are sole survivors

March 30, 1991|By Rafael Alvarez and S. M. Khalid | Rafael Alvarez and S. M. Khalid,Sun Staff Correspondents Special correspondent Jodi Bizar contributed to this article from Havre de Grace

PERRYVILLE -- Five adults were killed but two small children survived yesterday afternoon when a rental car crashed into a small pickup truck on Interstate 95 in Cecil County, state police reported.

Both occupants of the car, a Pontiac, were killed in the crash. They were identified by police as Jonah Weinstein, 25, of Lakewood, N.J., and his wife, Yehudis, 21.

The names of the three adults traveling in the northbound Toyota 4-Runner were not immediately released.

Two young children traveling in the truck survived the 3:21 p.m. accident with no visible injuries, according to a nursing supervisor at Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace, where the survivors were initially taken.

The children, a 4-year-old girl and a 1 1/2 -year-old boy, spoke only Spanish, according to the hospital supervisor, who said the little girl was upset and incoherent.

"The little girl is so traumatized, she just keeps asking for mommy," the supervisor said.

The children were transferred to the pediatric unit of University Hospital in Baltimore just before 7 p.m., and they were listed at 11 p.m. in serious but stable condition.

All five of the adults were pronounced dead on arrival at Union Hospital of Cecil County in Elkton.

The bodies of the two drivers --both men -- were taken to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore.

Investigators said the driver of the dark blue Pontiac lost control of the vehicle just south of the Belvidere Road overpass, near Principio Creek, and crossed onto a 15- to 20-foot-wide median strip before moving into the northbound lanes of I-95.

A gully lies in the middle of the median strip, and it appeared that the Pontiac momentarily became airborne as it left the elevated southbound lane and sailed into the northbound lane ++ just below it. There were no barriers in the median where the accident took place.

Cpl. Bruce Diehl of the Kennedy Highway state police barracks, which investigated the accident, said both vehicles were destroyed in thecrash. The front end of the Pontiac and most of its roof were obliterated by the impact.

The accident -- one of three on I-95 yesterday near Perryville -- caused a massive holiday traffic tie-up as rescue workers closed the northbound lanes, police rerouted traffic onto U.S. 40, and motorists in the southbound lanes slowed to gawk at the tragedy as they passed.

The area, a winding stretch of I-95 considered dangerous to motorists in bad weather, was also crowded with firefighters, although neither of the wrecked vehicles caught fire.

Police said they were relieved that only two vehicles had been involved, as rush-hour approached at the start of what was a three-day Easter weekend for many people yesterday.

Special correspondent Jodi Bizar contributed to this article fro Havre de Grace.

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