Victims of Sunday battering mourned as new storms strike Corbett family sought good life

July 09, 1991|By Deborah I. Greene | Deborah I. Greene,Carroll County Bureau of The Sun

An article in The Sun Tuesday stated incorrectly that an accident in which three Carroll County children were killed Sunday occurred when the car in which they were riding swerved to avoid a Buick Skylark. In fact, the accident occurred when the car in which the children were riding went out of control on the wet road and sideswiped the Skylark.

Russell and Betty Lou Corbett's future looked bright: He had a good job and together they planned to build a spacious home on a shady spot of land in rural Carroll County where they could raise their three children and, maybe, a few horses too.

The Corbetts seemed to live the American dream, some say, until it shattered Sunday afternoon when the station wagon they were riding in crashed on a rain-slicked country road -- killing the Corbett children and severely injuring their parents and a teen-age baby sitter.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

The children were dressed in their best clothes and on their way to a cousin's birthday party when the accident occurred on southbound Route 97, a short distance from their home in the 1100 block of Humbert Schoolhouse Road.

They were apparently crushed by large boxes of dental equipment that shifted toward the passenger seat as Mr. Corbett swerved on the wet road to avoid a Buick Skylark but then crashed head-on into a Jeep Cherokee, police said.

Friends and relatives grieved yesterday, their pain made even greater by the thought that the young couple remain hospitalized and may not know, yet, that Jacqueline Michelle Corbett, 5; Russell Michael Corbett Jr., 3; and Loren Cassidy Corbett, 18 months, have died.

"Oh my God, the way they just loved those children," lamented Olivia Rifici, who lived next door to the Corbetts in Pikesville before they moved to the country. "They were such beautiful redheaded children. My God, when they find out what has happened. . . . Oh it's such a tragedy," she said, hard-pressed to put her grief into words.

Neighbors said the Corbetts had moved a few months ago to three-story frame house in Carroll County to give their children a better life, far from the problems of the city. Mr. Corbett didn't mind the long drive home after selling medical supplies in surrounding counties.

Betty Corbett quit her job as a waitress and stayed home with the kids, sometimes pitching in to help a friend the couple hired to renovate their new home or spent time getting to know her new neighbors.

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