Severna Park Students Injured When Deck Collapses

June 07, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

A group of Severna Park students were injured Wednesday night when adeck collapsed at a home in Cape St. Claire, sending one graduating senior to a Baltimore hospital with internal injuries.

Six other teen-agers -- some who will graduate today from Severna Park High School -- also were injured, though not seriously.

"I was standing next to the sliding glass door talking to my boyfriend," said Kelly Collins, 18. "The deck just collapsed. I guess theporch just wasn't strong enoughto hold us. I didn't realize so many people were out there."

Collins, of the 300 block Hartman Drive, was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center at University Hospital in Baltimore, where she was treated for a broken toe and internal injuries. She was released yesterday afternoon.

Police and fire officials said the wooden deck was about 10 feet off the ground when the supports gave way. "They had a real mess back there," said county police spokesman Officer V. Richard Molloy.

Molloy said Officer John Yox was at the home in the 1200 block Hilltop Drive, answering a complaint of as loud party,shortly before the deck collapsed at about 10:15 p.m.

"He was out front talking to a couple of people when he heard some loud cracking and then a loud crash," Molloy said.

Fire department spokesman Capt. Gary Sheckells said the first call for help came at 10:20 p.m., but the department sent only one ambulance and one engine, because the caller said one person had fallen from a deck.

Inthe end, two ambulances, two paramedic units, three fire engines anda state police helicopter were sent to the house. Six teen-agers were taken to the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapoliswhere many were treated for leg injuries.

A police officer, James Borga, also was injured. Molloy said he was punctured by a nail while helping the students and was treated and released from an area hospital.

Molloysaid the party was being given by one of the men who lived at the home. A student who attended the party said the host was a Severna ParkHigh School senior who lives in the home with his older brother.

Police said that the man who rents the house did not know about the party untilhe returned home Wednesdaynight. Molloy said the man calledpolice.

Molloy said police officers at the scene reported that noone was drunk and that the party was not loud or out-of-control.

The renters' names were not available yesterday. Three men who appeared to be in their early 20s answered the door at the home yesterday afternoon and refused to comment. County records show the house is owned by Braugh E. Treffer, who also could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Students interviewed said the party, attended by about 40people, was low-key, with many of the teen-agers sitting around and talking. They said about 20 people were on the deck.

"I just walked out on it and it collapsed," said Paige Almes, 19, of the 800 blockTeakwood Drive. "It was a scary thing. I did somethingto my back."

Almes said she graduated from Severna Park High School last year.

Jim Hollis, 17, of the 500 block Old Pasture Lane, said he had justwalked out on the deck when it came down. "I wasn't there for more than a minute," he said. "It was bad luck. I was on the edge of the deck for 10 seconds. I heard two cracks and then the whole thing just went down in a free-fall."

Other students who suffered leg injurieswere: Julie Lewis, 18, who broke her leg; Cindy Thompson, 17; and Eric Danielson, 15. Police and fire officials said they did not have their addresses.

Also injured was Holly Roessler, 17, of the 500 block Drive, whose foot was punctured by a nail. She is the daughter of Deputy State's Attorney William D. Roessler.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.