Accelerating car hits man, crashes into townhouse ANNAPOLIS/SOUTH

September 02, 1993

A county utilities worker was injured yesterday when he was struck by a car that suddenly accelerated and crashed into a townhouse near Annapolis, stopping just inches from a 71-year-old woman who was sitting on her couch.

Ralph Johnson, whose age and address were not available yesterday evening, was treated and released from Anne Arundel Medical Center.

County police said Mr. Johnson was working in the 900 block of Topmast Way, in Heritage Harbour, when he asked a man identified as Curtis Williams to move his car away from a manhole cover.

As Mr. Williams backed his car away, police said it accelerated for an unknown reason and struck Mr. Johnson. The car then drove over a curb, a small grass plot and crashed into a home at 917 Topmast Way.

Mary Ellen Wessel, who lives in the house, said she was watching a local cable news program to see what was going on in her community when the car crashed through her living room wall about 10 a.m.

"It was a miracle I wasn't hurt," she said. "The car came right into my home. It pushed against a piano and pushed against the couch I was sitting on. It came right up to me."

Ms. Wessel said the entire front part of her home is destroyed. She said the fire department cleaned up the debris and contractors were on their way to board up the home last night. Neither Ms. Wessel nor Mr. Williams was injured, county police reported.

"I was watching the news to see what was going on in the community," Ms. Wessel said. "I had most of the community over watching me."

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