Five teen-agers seriously injured in car accident

August 30, 1994|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Sun Staff Writer

Five Wilde Lake High School students were seriously injured yesterday when their car spun on slick pavement, slamming head-on into a tree near the Harper's Choice Village Center.

The 17-year-old girl who was driving the car and a 16-year-old boy riding in the right rear seat were flown by a state police Medevac helicopter to the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Another passenger, a 17-year-old girl, was taken by ambulance to the trauma center. All three teens, who rescue workers said suffered head wounds, fractures and lacerations, were listed in serious, but stable condition late yesterday afternoon.

Two boys, 16 and 17, who were passengers, were taken to Howard County General Hospital, where they were listed in fair condition and were still being evaluated at 6 p.m. yesterday, a hospital spokesman said. Rescue officials said the two had lacerations and possible fractures.

Howard County police said they would not release the names of the students because they are all minors.

After spending their first day in the new River Hill High in Clarksville, which is the temporary school for Wilde Lake students while their Columbia school is rebuilt, students were released from classes at about 2 p.m.

The car driven by the 17-year-old girl was traveling east on Harpers Farm Road at 2:15 p.m.

The accident occurred in the 5400 block of Harpers Farm Road, in front of Cedar Valley Apartments.

James Farra, 16, said he and friends were driving in front of the car driven by the 17-year-old girl.

"She was driving past us, skidded a little and ran into a tree," said James.

He said he called 911 at the the Harper's Choice Village Center.

At least three dozen Wilde Lake students, some of whom pulled over when they saw the accident, sat or stood behind police lines as rescuers worked to free one of the boys who was trapped in the car for 20 minutes.

Other students arrived at the scene as word of the accident spread. The mothers of two of the victims arrived. Crying, they tried to cross yellow police tape.

"It's hard to imagine on a street like this, something could do this to a car," said Michael E. Hickey, the county's school superintendent, who happened to drive past the accident as he returned to his office on Route 108.

Investigators had not determined the cause of the accident, but speed and the wet pavement probably played a part in it, police said.

Posted speed signs read 35 miles per hour.

"The road was wet but we're still investigating it," said Officer Tim Kiely.

Howard County fire and rescue workers cut off the top of the smashed brown Chevrolet, and pulled other parts of the vehicle away so they could get to the occupants.

Eleven fire units and a few police cars blocked the eastbound lane of Harpers Farm Road, slowing traffic.

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