Teen with troubled past crashes car 3 are dead

November 17, 1992|By Frank Langfitt and Alisa Samuels | Frank Langfitt and Alisa Samuels,Staff Writers Staff writer Jackie Powder contributed to this article.

After trouble in school and trouble with the law, Daniel Levy's life was beginning to look up. His grades were improving. His parents were hopeful.

It all ended early Monday morning on a rural two-lane road in the southern section of Howard County, when the Columbia youth and two teen-age friends crashed into a utility pole. All three were pronounced dead within hours.

"We're devastated," said Michael Hall of Highland, whose 14-year-old daughter, Angela Marie, died in the crash. She "was at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Howard County police say that Daniel, 15, did not have a driver's license and had taken his parents' 1990 GEO Prizm without permission Sunday.

He lost control while heading east on Route 108 with Angela Hall in the front seat and Carrie Rebecca Simmons, 15, of Ellicott City in the back, police said.

The vehicle swerved to the right, demolished a brick column that encased a mailbox, struck a utility pole and then a small red maple tree. Daniel died immediately, police said. Angela and Carrie were pronounced dead later at Howard County General Hospital and Montgomery County General Hospital, respectively.

Daniel's parents recalled him yesterday as an enthusiastic, imaginative boy, who loved playing heavy metal music on his Fender Telecaster electric guitar. Recently, however, he had gotten into trouble with the police.

Some months ago, Daniel had run away from his home on the 10600 block of High Beam Court in Columbia. He linked up with another boy who had stolen a car, Daniel's mother, Carole, said. After a week or so, police picked up the two at the Columbia Mall where they had been living in the vehicle. Daniel was charged with car theft and was under community detention when he died.

Mrs. Levy said her son called every day while he was away from home.

"We just couldn't get him to come back," she said.

Daniel studied electronics at the Howard County School of Technology in the mornings and spent his afternoons at the Howard High Extension Program at Taylor Manor. The public school program is designed for students with emotional problems.

One of Daniel's proudest moments came during an eighth-grade talent show at Ellicott Mills Middle School when he and some friends played in a rock band.

"The kids were patting him on the back," said science teacher Bill Gallerizzo, who played guitar with Daniel after school at Ellicott Mills. "He could do nothing but smile about the whole thing."

After Ellicott Mills, Daniel moved to Mount Hebron High School and then -- about a year and a half ago -- to the program at Taylor Manor. Patti Caplan, spokeswoman for the Howard public school system, said she could not comment on why Daniel was moved, because of the district's confidentiality policy.

At Glenelg High School, where Angela Hall was a freshman, seven of her girlfriends stood in a circle hugging each other in the lobby yesterday morning.

"She was a great friend; I'll miss her," 14-year-old Kari Holman said.

Ms. Caplan described Angela as a girl who was not very involved in school activities and was depressed at times.

"She just would really have some down periods," Ms. Caplan said.

Carrie Simmons' parents, who live on Nestling Pine Court in Ellicott City, declined to talk about their daughter.

The accident occurred at about 12:14 a.m. near the intersection of Route 108 and Route 216 -- not far from Highland.

The teen-agers were about a mile from Angela's house, which is on Santa Maria Avenue.

The car was headed away from the girl's home, and police speculated that the teen-agers may have just come from there. However, police weren't sure where the teen-agers were going or how long they had been together. Nor was it clear how the students, who went to different schools, had come to know one another.

All three left home Sunday without their parents' permission, said Howard police Sgt. Gary L. Gardner.

There was no sign that drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident.

None of the victims wore a seat belt, police said. Sergeant Gardner said the two passengers might have been saved if they had.

The accident occurred in a 35 mph zone. Police said Daniel was driving over the speed limit, but they are not sure by how much.

The car came to rest in Peter Federline's front yard.

"It sounded like a bomb went off," Mr. Federline said. Mr. Federline recalled hearing hard rock music blasting away inside the damaged car.

Don Mathieu, 63, who lives within a few hundred feet of the crash scene, said the car didn't appear to be badly damaged.

"I thought when I first looked at it it was survivable," Mr. Mathieu said.

"I'm shocked. I feel for the kids and, of course, for their families and friends," he said.

He said people typically ignore the 35 mph speed limit.

"This road is almost a high-speed raceway," Mr. Mathieu said. "They drive way too fast."

Angela Hall is one of four Glenelg students to die in a car accident this year.

Jenny Olson, 16, and Deann Perry, 16, were killed Feb. 28 in a two car crash at Routes 32 and 144. On Aug. 19, Michelle L. Boyle, a 1992 Glenelg honors graduate, died in an auto accident on Old Frederick Road near her home in Sykesville.

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