Longtime friends killed in crash on Route 50

August 29, 1993|By Frank Langfitt | Frank Langfitt,Staff Writer Staff writer Peter Hermann contributed to this article.

Scores of friends and relatives will say goodbye today and tomorrow to two members of an inseparable group of young men who grew up and played lacrosse together in Annapolis.

Charles Alan Robertson, 25, and Peter Estrada, 27, both of Annapolis, died early Friday after the car in which they were riding was hit head-on on U.S. 50. The driver of the other vehicle, Jether Bonds, 25, of Cedar Heights, Prince George's County, died also.

A service for Mr. Estrada will be held at 8:30 p.m. today at the Hardesty Funeral Home in Annapolis. Mr. Robertson's service will be held at the Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

The two friends were returning from a Washington bar with three other high school buddies at the time of the crash. They were celebrating because one of them, Matthew Clifford, was shipping out the next morning with the merchant marine.

"It's a real local tragedy," said Mr. Robertson's mother, Catherine Russell.

"They've just had the closest relationship," said Laura Simpson, who dated Mr. Robertson.

Yesterday evening, Mr. Clifford, 27, and another friend injured in the accident, David Murrin, 25, were listed in serious condition at the Washington Hospital Center. The driver and fifth friend, Michael Alexander, was taken to Prince George's Hospital Center, where he was treated and released.

Mr. Alexander, 25, was the only one of the five who wore a seat belt.

The accident occurred around 2:30 a.m. near Landover in Prince George's, said Trooper Cheryl A. Petro of the Forestville State Police Barracks. Mr. Bonds was heading west when he drove a 1979 Ford Fairmont across the median and into an eastbound Lincoln Town Car carrying the five friends. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say Mr. Bonds caused the accident. They said they don't know when he crossed the median.

The five friends met in junior high school. Avid athletes and sports fans, four later played lacrosse at Annapolis High School.

After graduation the friends drifted in and out of town. Mr. Robertson joined the Navy as a communications specialist and traveled to the West Coast. Mr. Murrin and Mr. Clifford joined the merchant marine and sailed the Mediterranean Sea.

Mr. Estrada was a local optometrist.

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