Developer killed in 2-car crash in Stevenson area Howard Offit dies

wife badly hurt

August 25, 1993|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Staff Writer

A Baltimore commercial real estate developer was killed and his wife seriously injured last evening when their car collided with another at a Greenspring Valley intersection, Baltimore County police said.

Howard Offit, 68, president of RS Properties, was pronounced dead about 9:20 p.m. at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center from multiple injuries.

His wife, Joan, 66, is listed in serious condition in the intensive care unit at Sinai Hospital with internal injuries, police said.

Their residence was given as the St. James Condominiums in the 3700 block of N. Charles St.

The driver of the other car, a 17-year-old girl from the Mount Washington area, was treated for injuries at Sinai Hospital and released. Police declined to name her because she is a juvenile.

Officer Kevin Doyle, of the county police traffic investigation division, said Mr. Offit was driving a 1993 Toyota Tercel westbound on Greenspring Valley Road at Stevenson Road about 6:50 p.m. when the girl, who was driving a 1989 Cadillac north on Stevenson Road, entered the intersection after stopping at a stop sign.

Officer Doyle said the Cadillac struck the driver's side of the smaller Toyota, causing it to travel several feet out of control before it crashed into a utility pole.

Officer Doyle said the Cadillac then spun out of control and crashed into the rear of the Toyota.

Officer Doyle said Mr. Offit was trapped behind the wheel of his car for several minutes before firefighters from area fire stations freed him.

A county fire department spokesman said Mr. Offit was taken by ambulance to a parking lot at the Stevenson Village Shopping Center near the accident scene and was flown by a State Police MedEvac helicopter to Shock Trauma, where he died about two hours later.

Officer Doyle said the teen-ager was to be charged with failing to grant the right of way to an oncoming vehicle.

Described as a champion of low-income tenants, Mr. Offit received national acclaim in 1964 when he hired a social worker to advise and assist nearly 150 tenant families in Baltimore in hopes that stability would result in better care of his rented properties.

He turned over a rowhouse near the Harlem Park renewal area that the social worker, Jane Mathieu, to gether with some 150 volunteers, transformed into the socially active Echo House community center.

As the former president of the Baltimore Property Owners Association, Mr. Offit served on the advisory panel on housing law enforcement for then-Mayor Theodore R. McKeldin. Mr. Offit's firm controlled hundreds of city rental properties at the time.

In late 1991, RS Properties took over 100 percent ownership of 10 W. Eager St., a 20,000-square-foot office building that contains several tenants.

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