Family Sues Dead Driver

News in brief

October 30, 1991

The family of a Columbia man who died in a drunken-driving accident in July has filed a $50 million suit against the estate of the other driver, who also was killed in the accident.

The widow and son of Richard E. Daley, 53, claim that the other driver, Kristine M. Weber,23, was intoxicated that night and caused the accident on Route 32 in Columbia.

The police accident report indicates that Weber's blood alcohol content was 0.16 that night, twice the level considered legally drunk in Maryland, said Timothy J. McCrone, the Daleys' attorney.

"Kristine Michelle Weber's habit of consuming alcoholic beverages, often toexcess, was known to many individuals," states the suit, which was filed in Howard County Circuit Court on Oct. 15 by Margaret and Christopher Daley. McCrone said a private investigator was hired to gather information for the suit.

The July 6 accident occurred on Route 32near Pindell School Road. Police said Weber's 1989 Toyota Tercel waswestbound at 2:50 a.m. when she lost control, hit a guardrail and bounced back into the road. She collided head-on with Daley's 1988 Toyota pickup, which was eastbound.

Police said Weber was pronounced dead at the scene. Daley died an hour later at Howard County General Hospital.

Weber, who had recently moved to the Silver Spring area, lived on Willow Bottom Drive in Columbia with her family prior to theaccident, McCrone said.


West Friendship residents opposed to a gasoline station in their neighborhood scored a small victory in the county planning board yesterday. The board voted, 2-1, against recommending a petition that would allow Exxon build a gas station/convenience store.

The vote will be forwarded to the county Board of Appeals.

Nearby residents testified against the 24-hour station, which Exxon hopes to build on Route 144 near the intersection of Route 32. Opponents fear gasoline runoff would pollute nearby pastures. They also noted that since the construction of the nearby West Friendship Neighborhood Shopping Center, there hasbeen an increase in crime and in traffic from Interstate 70. Residents fear the station would add to those problems.

Another gas station, planned for the Hickory Ridge village center in Columbia, drew opposition from the Braeburn Community across Cedar Lane.

"That gas station and a supply of gasoline will be right on top of our well water," said John Streeter, who testified for the 25-year-old Braeburn Community Associa

tion. Streeter presented a petition with about 30signatures from people opposed to the station.

He said that whileColumbia neighborhoods next to the shopping center have public water, Braeburn does not and the county has said it has no immediate plansto provide it.

The board voted to accept the Rouse Co.'s plans for the center but asked that Rouse executives provide more informationabout the safety of gasoline storage and its proximity to ground water when more detailed plans are up for approval.


The leader of a group protesting further development of Waverly Woods said yesterday that the County Council "totally defeated our purpose" by refusing to do more than acknowledge the group's protest calls.

David Stough, president of Citizens Allied for Rational Expansion, last week urged residents to "adopt a council member for a day" and flood that member's office with protest calls.

Council members, who also sit as the Zoning Board, refused to accept the calls,citing zoning board rules of procedure. Those rules forbid members from discussing actual or potential zoning cases outside a public hearing.

Stough expected calls to be forwarded to the council members'legislative assistants, which is what happened Wednesday, when ShanePendergrass, D-1st, was targeted. Pendergrass said her office received 11 protest calls that day -- the most by far of any council member.

Aides to Darrel Drown, R-2nd, Paul R. Farragut, D-4th, Charles C. Feaga, R-5th, and C. Vernon Gray, D-3rd, said they received no morethan three calls each since the protest began a week ago.

The reason for that Stough said, is that when people called and said they wanted to talk about Waverly, they never got any further. Their names were simply put on a list and checked off if they called more than once, Stough said.

Pendergrass, the chairwoman of the Zoning Board, said she understands the anger protesting residents may feel about notbeing able to discuss zoning cases with their council representatives.

"They're angry, I'm helpless" because of the rules of procedure, Pendergrass said. "As a citizen, I couldn't comprehend why I couldn't talk to my representatives."


The home of a well-known Columbia psychologist will be put up for public auction if six months of back mortgage payments are not brought up to date.

Citicorp Mortgage Inc. of St. Louis started foreclosure proceedings against Dennis M. Harrison

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