Truck tractor smashes into car dealership

July 23, 1992|By William F. Zorzi Jr. and Sheridan Lyons | William F. Zorzi Jr. and Sheridan Lyons,Staff Writers

Standing in the Westminster showroom of Bohn Pontiac yesterday morning, office manager Terry Davis could see the truck coming, but she could only stand and watch as it came barreling through the plate glass windows.

"There were four of us in the office . . . and there wasn't anywhere to go," said Mrs. Davis, 42. "It was coming right at us."

"All four of us just kind of froze. It was so fast, so quick you didn't have time to do anything," she said.

Mrs. Davis and Sue Harvey, Bohn's 28-year-old office clerk, "just kind of grabbed each other," she said. "That's all we could do."

And with that, the truck -- the tractor part of a tractor-trailer, known as a "bobtail" -- slammed into the building on Route 140.

"The next thing we knew, the glass went all over the place," Mrs. Davis said.

Meanwhile, across Route 140, a 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass that had been struck by the tractor after pulling out in front of the truck screeched onto the front lawn of the Westminster state police barracks.

State police said that just after 10 a.m. the Cutlass, driven by Catherine L. Griffin, 71, of the 100 block of S. Center St., Westminster, was in a median break on Route 140 when it pulled into the path of the northbound tractor, driven by Richard L. Shaw, 38, of Route 1, McConnellsburg, Pa.

Mrs. Davis said all four of the people in the dealership heard the crash on Route 140, then owner Steve Bohn "kind of stood up and said, 'Oh my God,' " as he saw the truck headed for the dealership.

"The 'bobtail' lost control and ran across the median and both lanes southbound and into the Bohn Pontiac building," said Trooper First Class Jeffrey S. Hartzler, of the Westminster barracks.

"The plate glass windows exploded," Trooper Hartzler said.

"How he missed the [new] cars I don't know," Mrs. Davis said. "He got the whole corner of the building" at 1071 Baltimore Blvd. (Route 140).

None of the people in the dealership was injured in the accident, although cars in the showroom were scratched by the flying glass, Mrs. Davis said.

Ms. Griffin was taken by MedEvac helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where she was listed in fair and stable condition last night.

Mr. Shaw was treated at Carroll County General Hospital and released.

Workers began rebuilding the damaged corner of the dealership yesterday afternoon.

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