Crashes kill 5, 3 drown during July 4 weekend 8 fewer people die in traffic accidents compared to 1991

July 06, 1992|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer Staff Writers Pat O'Malley and Glenn Small contributed to this article.

Five people were killed in three car accidents over the Fourth of July weekend and three others, including a 9-year-old boy, drowned in separate incidents Saturday and yesterday.

The most serious crash occurred Saturday morning when two cars collided head-on on Route 90 near Ocean City.

Three people, including a former Severna Park lacrosse player, died in the fiery accident. Ed Ulrich, coach of the high school team, said defenseman Jay Gibbs, 18, was one of the dead.

The youth graduated from the high school in June and was to attend the University of Maryland in the fall.

Mr. Gibbs was riding in the car driven by his girlfriend, from Pasadena, who also died in the crash, police said.

State police in Berlin would not release the names of the two teen-agers because a positive identification could not be made.

Police said the Pasadena teen-ager, who was driving a 1988 Nissan Sentra, fell asleep at the wheel and crossed the center line, hitting a 1984 Ford station wagon driven by Thomas Ray Amacher, 59, of Lutherville. The three victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

In a Baltimore County accident Saturday night, Patricia Martha Jedlicka, 51, of the first block of Urban Wood Court was killed when a car parked on Church Road in Dundalk backed over her as she was crossing the street.

Baltimore County police said the accident occurred about 10:20 p.m. when the driver of a 1979 Chevrolet Camaro suddenly accelerated in reverse, striking the woman.

Sgt. John Irlbacher said that Michael Joseph Blottenberger, 22, of the 3700 block of Margaret St. was charged with negligent driving. Ms. Jedlicka was pronounced dead at the scene.

The first July Fourth fatality occurred in Salisbury about 2 a.m. when a man riding on the handlebars of a bicycle was struck by a state police cruiser. Milton Curtis King, 29, of Salisbury was pronounced dead at the scene.

The five fatalities over the 1992 July Fourth weekend compared to 13 for the holiday in 1991, state police said.

The latest drowning occurred yesterday in Baltimore County, where a 31-year-old old Dundalk man died while swimming with friends in a quarry in the 1900 block of Denberry Drive.

Firefighters were called to the scene about 11 a.m. Three hours later, they recovered the body of Ronald Esposito of the 1800 block of Merritt Blvd. Police said the man had been drinking heavily.

On Saturday, a 9-year-old Charles County boy drowned in a La Plata pond while playing with his father, Maryland Natural Resources Police said.

The boy, John Martin Link Jr. of La Plata, jumped into 3 to 4 feet of water in the Allens Fresh Pond, said Robert L. Gould, a natural resources police spokesman. The boy's father, John Martin Link, performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on his son but was unable to revive him, Mr. Gould said.

The boy was pronounced dead at Physicians Memorial Hospital at 7:18 p.m. Mr. Gould said yesterday that police were investigating the drowning.

The third weekend drowning occurred Saturday. Matthew Belt, 24, of the 300 block of Estates Road drowned while swimming in the Liberty Reservoir with his sister and a friend.

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