Heat fells 16 at parade

A WEEKEND BRINGS FUN, TRAGEDY

accidents kill 8

July 06, 1993|By Frank D. Roylance | Frank D. Roylance,Staff Writer Staff writers Sheridan Lyons, Audrey Haar, Marina Sarris, Aminah Franklin and Shanon D. Murray contributed to this article.

Marylanders were headed back to work today after a steamy Independence Day holiday weekend marred by two drownings, six traffic fatalities and wilting temperatures that felled 16 people yesterday at a holiday parade in Arbutus.

Although the holiday may be over, the weather will linger: Forecasts called for continued heat and humidity, and high temperatures in the low- to mid-90s.

In Arbutus, 16 marchers and spectators suffered heat exhaustion at yesterday's parade. Four of them required hospital treatment, authorities said.

Police and fire officials said three women, one of them pregnant, and a 12-year-old girl who was a boton twirler in the parade were taken to St. Agnes Hospital. All were treated and released, hospital officials said.

Others who collapsed at the parade were given ice and water at the scene to lower their body temperatures, police said.

The temperature downtown reached a high of 98 degrees yesterday -- six degrees short of the record for the date, which was set in 1990. It reached 96 at the airport, short of the 100-degree record there, also in 1990.

In Baltimore, many people seemed to be taking the heat in stride.

"I was waiting all winter for this," said Michelle Clarke, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native who was standing in line to enter the Great Blacks in Wax Museum at 1603 E. North Ave. "I like to sweat all the toxins out of my body."

Kathy Richardson of New York City said she didn't have a problem with the heat, either.

"The way to cool off is to be half-naked like me," said Ms. Richardson. She was wearing a white sleeveless, low-cut, midriff blouse, a pair of denim shorts and sneakers without socks.

The sweltering conditions drove large crowds to Ocean City, where the beach was packed by sunbathers -- the heat eased by cool sea breezes throughout the holiday.

"We had a terrific weekend. The weather has been hot -- real beach weather," said Ocean City Mayor Roland E. Powell. "I would say we had a near-capacity crowd."

The Ocean City Visitors Center gave a crowd estimate of 350,000 people, but accurate figures based on the volume of wastewater flushed by visitors won't be available for several days. The Boardwalk was jam-packed before and after Sunday's fireworks show, said David Bryant, general manager of Phillips Beach Plaza Hotel.

The trip home went swimmingly, too. State and Toll Facilities police, to their own astonishment, reported no problems and no unusual delays last night.

Ocean City police reported few problems, despite heavy traffic there. The most serious accident occurred at 12:35 p.m. Sunday when a pedestrian was struck and injured by a southbound car on Coastal Highway at 138th St. Speed was listed as a factor in the accident.

Two drownings were reported. William Martin Rowe, 55, of Union Bridge, was found drowned in Carroll County's Big Pipe Creek early Sunday, an hour after he and five others left a nearby tavern and went for a swim near Crouse Mill Road, police said.

In Somerset County, authorities searched the Manokin River in Somerset County yesterday for a Pennsylvania man whose 14-foot boat was found circling about 9:40 a.m., said Nancy Howard, spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

By yesterday evening, state police had reported six traffic fatalities for the holiday weekend.

In Harford County, a 20-year-old man sitting in the back of a pickup truck died after the vehicle ran off Conowingo Road Sunday evening, overturned and slid into a guardrail when the driver tried to light a cigarette, police said.

Randolph Eric George, 20, of Edgewater, was thrown from the bed of the truck and later died at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center -- the sixth traffic fatality of the weekend. The driver and XTC two passengers, a father and daughter, were injured.

Police said charges were pending.

Also Sunday, a Sykesville man was struck and killed as he walked across the Capital Beltway in Montgomery County.

On Saturday, two young men died in Calvert County when a truck ran into a tree, a man was found dead from an apparent hit-and-run incident near Cumberland, and a man died when his car struck a parked truck on Washington Boulevard in Baltimore City. He was identified yesterday as Sherman McDonald, 63, of First Avenue in Baltimore.

Only one fireworks injury was reported, said Deputy State Fire Marshal Bob Thomas.

In Havre de Grace, a licensed fireworks shooter employed by Fireworks Productions Inc. of Glen Rock Pa., received second-degree burns on the left side of his face while setting off an aerial device about 9:45 p.m. Sunday, Mr. Thomas said. Santo Grasso, 41, was released after treatment at Harford Memorial Hospital.

Fire officials also found three 3-inch unexploded fireworks on the athletic field after a display at the Bel Air High School complex.

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