Driver of car that struck, killed 5-year-old gives up

July 26, 1994|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writer Elaine Tassy contributed to this article.

The driver of a dark-colored BMW that struck and killed a 5-year-old girl Friday night in Northeast Baltimore and injured her mother and aunt before speeding off, surrendered to police yesterday, authorities said.

Cecil Allen Brooks, 33, of the 4400 block of Ivanhoe Ave., walked into the Eastern District station on Edison Highway about 7 a.m., police said.

He was charged with three counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving serious injury or death and three counts of failing to administer first aid to injured persons. Both charges involve traffic citations.

Police said the case will be reviewed by the state's attorney's office, which could file more serious charges in the hit-and-run accident that killed Nicole Anderson of the 3400 block of Elmley Ave.

"Praise God," said Nicole's great-great aunt, Patricia Muldrow, of Catonsville, reacting to news that a man had been arrested. "We just take it one day at a time."

Yesterday afternoon, a police officer sat in front of Mr. Brooks' three-story, white-shingled house, guarding the 1988 BMW 535, whose driver's-side windshield was shattered.

Last night, a man and a woman inside the home refused to come to the front door. They told a reporter to call their lawyer, whom they refused to name.

Mr. Brooks has a relatively clean driving record, according to Motor Vehicle Administration records. The only charge on file for the last three years shows a citation in January 1993 for failing to display a license plate.

Friday's accident occurred about 11:30 p.m., as April Watson, 23, Leslie Carter, 31, and her daughter Nicole were crossing the 4900 block of Sinclair Lane, near the Parkside Gardens Apartments, where they were visiting relatives.

Police said the car was heading south on Sinclair Lane, near Moravia Road. They said the male driver continued driving south after the impact, which shattered the car's windshield and damaged its front end.

Ms. Carter and Nicole were thrown over the car's hood at impact, police said. The child's bloody white sneakers lay in the middle of the street, in front of the Northeastern District community police office.

Nicole was taken by ambulance to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 12:13 a.m.

Ms. Carter was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she was listed in good condition yesterday.

Ms. Watson was listed in satisfactory condition at Church Hospital. Reached by telephone at the hospital, she said she refused to talk about the crash.

Another aunt of Nicole, Demaire Dargan, 27, who lives in Dundalk, said the mother is doing fine physically, but not emotionally.

"It's not good," Ms. Dargan said, standing on her front porch as children thumbed through photographs of Nicole. "She is in a state of denial."

She was pleased that a suspect had been arrested, but declined to comment about the hit-and-run.

"I'm just going to say that I'm glad the police have him," she said. "I've got a lot to say to him, but I can't. It won't bring Nikki back."

Family members described Nicole as a playful child who was due to start kindergarten this fall. She played with dolls, loved Barney and watched Tiny Toons on television. "She was very close to her mother," Ms. Dargan said.

On Sundays, the child adored attending West Baltimore's Wayside Baptist Church with her 50-year-old grandfather, Ronald Watson Sr.

Her funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at Memorial Baptist Church, on the corner of Preston and Caroline streets.

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