Relatives of crash victim sought for notification

July 22, 1994|By Andrea F. Siegel and Dana Hedgpeth | Andrea F. Siegel and Dana Hedgpeth,Sun Staff Writers Sun staff writer Gregory P. Kane contributed to this article.

Anne Arundel County police are looking for relatives of one of three people killed when the car they were riding in crashed with an oncoming 40-ton tractor-trailer near Waysons Corner Wednesday night.

Killed in the accident were driver Frances Joanne Madden, 35, of the 4700 block of Flanders Lane in Harwood's Maryland Manor Trailer Park; rear passenger Darryl Rene Coates, 34, of Ronald Road in Capitol Heights; and Carol Ann Colbert, 40, of Prince George's County.

Lacking even her address, police said they did not have enough information about Ms. Colbert, who was riding in the front passenger seat, to notify her relatives. They released her name hoping someone will recognize it and tell them how to contact her family.

She is described as a white female, 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 120 pounds. She had blonde hair and hazel eyes. Police are asking that anyone with further information about Ms. Colbert call them at 222-8578.

For the family of Ms. Madden, it was the second time they had lost a relative in a Sands Road crash. Her eldest brother died 10 years ago as a result of brain damage suffered when a garbage truck ran his vehicle off Sands Road in 1974, said Gene Gullickson, 41, Ms. Madden's brother-in-law.

The accident occurred at about 10:22 p.m. Police said an investigation indicates Ms. Madden's Dodge Shadow, southbound on Sands Road, pulled into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer westbound on Route 408.

The truck, which was hauling compacted trash, hit the car on the driver's side, pushing it several hundred feet into a dirt embankment, crushing it and its occupants.

A preliminary investigation indicates the car failed to yield the right of way, said Sgt. Robert Johnson, Anne Arundel County police spokesman. Tests will be conducted on both vehicles before a determination is made, Sergeant Johnson said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, John W. Gaskins, 56, of Hague, Va., was not hurt, police said. The truck, a 1991 41-foot Freightliner, is owned by W.C. Hall General Hauling of Callao, Va., police said.

There is no evidence that either Ms. Madden or Mr. Gaskins was under the influence of alcohol, according to Sergeant Johnson.

The truck was going downhill at the time of the accident. The intersection with Sands Road lies in a valley between two hills. Nearby residents said drivers often have to pull out into the highway from Sands Road to be able to see traffic in both directions.

John Healy, a spokesman for the State Highway Administration, said the intersection has overhead lighting and that there are signs on Sands Road warning of the upcoming intersection.

Twice divorced, Ms. Madden is survived by two children, Chrissy Fitzgerald, 17, and Charles Madden, 12; and her parents, Lou and Richard Clark. They shared a mobile home.

"We will always remember the way she loved her family and kids. She would do anything for her kids," said Mr. Gullickson.

"She was an outgoing person. If you needed a favor she would do it for you as long as she was able," said neighbor Robert White, 52, who worked with a former husband of Ms. Madden.

The ex-husband's current wife, Lori White, 38, said she admired Ms. Madden's close relationship with her children.

Route 408 is used by many trucks, as there are several rubblefills in the area. Residents, many of whom live in the mobile home parks near the intersection, have complained about the truck traffic, dust and noise.

Samuel Steinour, 69, said his home in Maryland Manor Trailer Park shakes from some of the passing trucks.

The truck in Wednesday night's accident was hauling compacted municipal trash from New York City to a landfill in Virginia, said Viola Lewis, director of the Maryland Department of the Environment's office of community assistance.

MDE officials were called to the accident because there appeared to be medical waste -- surgical gloves and dialysis equipment. But the amount was very small and there was no indication it came from a hospital or clinic, Ms. Lewis said.

The State Highway Administration spent much of the day cleaning up the mess, and will bill whoever police say is at fault in the accident, or that person's insurance company, said SHA spokesman John Healy.

"A number of trucks have been taken to our facility in Millersville," said Lisa Ritter, spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County land use office.

SHA was charged $60 a ton -- the regular commercial fee -- to bring 15 tons into the county landfill, she said.

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