Crofton man convicted in car fatality Driver intoxicated during accident

September 08, 1993|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff Writer

A Crofton motorist who struck and killed a man as he drove home from a bar was convicted yesterday in Circuit Court of homicide while intoxicated.

Michael T. Bardowski, 40, of the 1800 block of Sharwood Place, will be sentenced Nov. 1 by Judge Raymond Thieme Jr. He faces up to five years in prison.

The Jan. 8 accident killed Gregg I. Getz, 28, of the 13000 block of Drake Drive in Rockville, who was standing in the middle of Route 424 after another accident, in which his car rear-ended another car.

"I am satisfied with the verdict," said Eve Getz, the victim's mother. "But I reallly think the state needs stronger drunk driving laws. A 40-year-old educated man should know better."

Bardowski and Mr. Getz each had a blood-alcohol content of 0.19, said T. Joseph Touhey, Bardowski's lawyer.

Trial testimony established that on the night of the accident, Bardowski drank a Manhattan cocktail before he and his girlfriend, Debra Gardner, went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Bowie. They shared a carafe of wine during their meal and then went to the Bowie Inn, where he had 1 1/2 beers.

Sleet was falling as the couple drove home. They came upon an accident on Route 424 near Rydell Road that partially blocked the road, Mr. Touhey said.

Bardowski, an accountant, testified that he has glaucoma, which affects his peripheral vision.

"I was coming down the road, and I didn't see anything," Bardowski said. "Suddenly, I heard glass shattering, and something just had hit me. I didn't know what it was."

Bardowski said he pulled into the parking lot of a convalescent center and walked back to the accident. He said he was surprised to find that he had hit a man.

"Where I had seen nobody before, there was a man lying in the road with a pool of blood around his head," he said.

Ms. Gardner, 38, said she did not know what hit the car.

"All of a sudden, out of the blue, I felt an impact, and the glass on the driver's side was shattering," she said. "I didn't know if someone threw something at us or what."

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