The 6-year-old son of Orioles infielder Tim Hulett was listed in critical condition last night at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center after being struck by an automobile yesterday afternoon in Cockeysville.
According to Baltimore County police, Samuel Wayne Hulett sustained severe head injuries when he darted from a curb in front of a 1991 Mercury Sable driven by Linda Blair, 30, of Upperco.
The accident occurred on Greenside Drive near Sorley Road in a residential area of Cockeysville at approximately 3 p.m. as Sam Hulett and his three brothers were returning from a playground at an apartment complex near where
they live. They were on their way home and were about to cross the street in front of a parked truck when one of his brothers warned Hulett about the approaching car, police said.
"The child was struck by the car's front bumper," said county police spokesman E. Jay Miller. "The driver never had an opportunity to stop. One of the children yelled, 'Don't go,' but he darted out and was running with his head down."
The boy was transported by helicopter to the pediatric trauma unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Baltimore County officer Brian E. Zile investigated the incident. No charges were filed against Blair.
The hospital would not release any details about the nature of the child's injuries. "We're not prepared to do that at this time," said a spokesman last night. Police officials said the child was in surgery at 9 p.m.
Tim Hulett and his wife, Linda, have four sons: Tug, 9; Joe, 8; Sam, 6; and Jeff, 5.
The Orioles were waiting out a rain delay at Comiskey Park in Chicago when Tim Hulett received word that his son had been injured. He immediately packed and left the ball park. His parents, who are from nearby Springfield, Ill., were at the game, and they drove him to the airport for a flight back to Baltimore.
After yesterday's 7-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox, the Orioles wandered aimlessly around a somber clubhouse. Player representative Storm Davis was on the phone, trying unsuccessfully to get an update on Sam Hulett's condition. Others were obviously distraught as they threw equipment into their bags in preparation for the flight home.
In his office, after struggling through a two-minute, post-game briefing, manager Johnny Oates put his head on the desk in the office and cried.
Catcher Rick Dempsey approached a group of reporters. "Is there any more news?" he asked.
Oates tried in vain to answer questions about the game. "You'll have to excuse me," he told reporters, "but my mind is not all here right now."
Then he raised his hand, calling a halt to the awkward session, and broke down.