Owner is pinned under houseboat and dies on way to hospital

August 10, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

Owning and cruising on a houseboat was Alan Joseph Fowler's dream.

Sunday the dream went wrong and crushed him to death.

Mr. Fowler, a 65-year-old Baltimore County man, was briefly pinned under a houseboat he bought recently. He said, "I'm OK" when he was freed.

But he died on his way to Carroll County General Hospital a few minutes later.

Mr. Fowler, who lived in the 1900 block of Hammonds Ferry Road, was preparing Sunday afternoon to re pair the 26-foot houseboat he had purchased in July.

He planned to move the vessel from the 100 block of N. Gorsuch Road in Westminster, according to state police.

While Mr. Fowler was jacking up the front of the tri-hull houseboat from its trailer, the jack slipped and he was struck in the chest by the falling boat.

Residents of the house where the accident occurred and neighbors ran to brace up the front of the boat, which police estimated weighed 3,000 pounds.

As they lifted it away from him, Mr. Fowler said, "I'm OK, I'm OK. I want to sit up," according to JoAnn Hood.

Mrs. Hood said her husband, Lewis, who had sold the boat to Mr. Fowler, was at the rear of his property showing a front-end loader to a prospective buyer and ran to help.

She said Mr. Fowler did not want her to call an ambulance and said he did not need hospital treatment.

But she insisted.

Mrs. Hood said, "Alan [Fowler] wanted to drive himself to the hospital and started to get behind the wheel of his car, but then got into the passenger's seat and let my husband drive him."

At 4:40 p.m., about three blocks from the hospital, Mr. Fowler died, apparently of internal injuries. He was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

Mrs. Hood said Mr. Fowler had told her that buying the houseboat was "his lifelong dream," that he had always wanted such a vessel and was fulfilling his dream now that he had retired.

Dr. Richard Jones, associate medical examiner for Carroll County, said Monday that Mr. Fowler died from multiple traumatic crushing injuries.

He said Mr. Fowler probably was numb from the injuries and felt no pain, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Mr. Fowler had retired June 1, after 23 years as a warehouseman for USCO, a pharmaceutical distribution company, she said.

He is survived by his wife, Remona; three children, Linda Grace of Baltimore, Sandra Miller of Lansdowne and Donald Fowler of Baltimore; and six grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at the Ambrose Funeral Home, 2719 Hammonds Ferry Road, at 11 a.m. Thursday. Viewing will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today and tomorrow.

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