Widow hopes for arrest of hit-and-run driver

May 14, 1994|By Ed Brandt | Ed Brandt,Sun Staff Writer

Tanya Hammond wants to know who killed her husband, but Baltimore County police have no clue despite an appeal to the public for help.

Paul Michael Hammond, 38, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in the 7500 block of Belair Road in Fullerton about 1:30 a.m. April 30.

"I would have forgiven the driver if he had just stopped to help my husband," Mrs. Hammond, 32, said. "He didn't. He left Mike lying there like a piece of trash, and now I want to see him caught."

Mr. Hammond, a painter at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, had spent part of the evening at a nearby tavern on Belair Road.

A witness quoted in the police report said the 6-foot-3, 270-pound victim was walking across Belair Road from east to west when he was struck on his left side by a dark colored, full-size pickup truck. He was hit in the northbound lane and thrown into the southbound lane by the impact. The truck sped away.

Mr. Hammond lived with his family in a house on the east side of Belair Road, about a half-block from the tavern, and Mrs. Hammond said she thought he probably was going to a fast-food restaurant before coming home.

The Hammonds had been married for 10 years and had an 8-year-old daughter, Kimberly. Mrs. Hammond also has a 17-year-old daughter, Dawn, from a previous marriage.

"Mike's problem was he liked to have a good time, and I told him drinking would kill him one way or the other," Mrs. Hammond said. "He had slowed down on his drinking a good bit. He stopped, then started, then sometimes got lost in it."

Mrs. Hammond said she has a sort of sixth sense about her family.

"I was asleep that night and suddenly sat upright in the bed," she said. "I thought I was having a heart attack. Then I heard the ambulance siren and just knew it was Mike."

She was waiting at the door when a Baltimore County police officer pulled up.

The officer took her to Franklin Square Hospital, where the look on her mother's face confirmed her fears.

"My mother was already there,and she didn't have to say anything," Mrs. Hammond said.

Mike Hammond liked to lift weights and he liked to fish, Mrs. Hammond said.

"He was going on a charter fishing trip the next day," she said. "He was also very handy around the house.

"He loved to work in the yard and fix things. Mike's father was an alcoholic, and Mike was too, but he was really fighting hard to handle his problem. He usually would have a couple of beers and that was it, except for the night he was killed.

"He loved his family, and especially our daughter, who goes to sleep now crying and clutching a shirt of his."

His supervisor at GBMC said Mr. Hammond was an excellent worker.

"He never missed any time, and everybody liked him," said Jim McCracken. "He was a good man, very professional in his job. "

Anyone with information about the accident can call the Eastern Traffic Division of the county police at 887-5396.

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