Witnesses save woman from burning vehicle

September 05, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

Several witnesses to a crash at routes 32 and 97 Friday forced open the door of a burning minivan and rescued the woman inside, state police reported.

The collision, between two Ford Aerostar minivans about 3:45 p.m., injured six people, including both drivers and a 2-year-old boy in one of the vehicles.

Police said one of the vans, which was southbound on Route 32, careened toward the southeast corner of the intersection, rolled into a drainage ditch, slammed into the concrete base of a steel utility pole and burst into flames.

Several witnesses rushed to the van and forced open the driver's door to rescue Lynn Wyatt Neith, 34, of Sykesville. The van was engulfed in flames within minutes and was destroyed. Ms. Neith and Gina Marie Wetzel, 21, of Millers were flown by state police MedEvac helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. They were released yesterday morning. Four passengers in Ms. Wetzel's van were taken to Carroll County General Hospital, where they were treated and released.

Ms. Wetzel's van was eastbound on Route 32 and ran a red light as she turned south on Route 97 into the path of Ms. Neith's van.

The accident, the second at the intersection in two days, closed Route 97 south of Route 32 for about 45 minutes.

Ms. Wetzel was trapped between the door and the vehicle's steering wheel. Rescue workers from the Westminster Fire Company moved the driver's seat and released her in less than 10 minutes.

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