Man is guilty in car crash that killed 4

September 09, 1992|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Staff Writer

A Baltimore man pleaded guilty yesterday to four counts of manslaughter by automobile in an April 1991 head-on collision on Interstate 95 that killed four people, including his 19-month-old son.

Anthony W. Haywood Sr., 24, sat quietly, his head bowed, as Assistant State's Attorney Jeffrey Michael detailed the facts of the crash to Harford Circuit Judge William O. Carr.

Blood and urine samples taken from Haywood at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center found opiates and Doriden, a depressant, in his system shortly after the 10:35 a.m. accident. Investigators said they did not believe Haywood had a prescription for the drugs.

In making his plea on the four manslaughter counts, Haywood requested a cap of 10 years on his sentence. In return, the state would not pursue conviction on 18 other charges, including driving on a revoked license.

Before accepting the defendant's guilty plea, Judge Carr told Haywood he could still be sentenced to five years in prison on each auto manslaughter count. The judge set sentencing for Oct. 14.

Haywood was driving southbound on I-95 near Aberdeen when his dark blue 1990 Ford Probe crossed the grassy 30-foot median and entered the northbound lanes, where it struck a light blue 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity head-on. Upon impact with the Celebrity, driven by Arthur H. Voigt, 77, of Queens Village, N.Y., the speedometer of Haywood's car locked between 80 and 85 mph.

Haywood's son died instantly. Mr. Voigt died at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center April 18. His wife, Georgiana M. Voigt, 76, and grandson, John C. Hinojosa, 21, of Herndon, Va., were pronounced dead at the accident scene.

Haywood, who was wearing a seat belt, walked away with minor injuries.

In statements after the accident, Haywood first admitted and then denied using drugs, said Mr. Michael, the prosecutor. At one interview, Haywood claimed he had taken cold medicine and nothing else.

He also gave police more than one version of the accident. He said he did not remember what happened. Later he told police he was not speeding, that he was forced to swerve to avoid striking a slow-moving gray truck.

Witnesses, who stopped to help immediately after the accident, told police that Haywood's car was traveling at a "high rate of speed" before it left the southbound lanes and struck the Voigts' light-blue Chevrolet.

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