Three seriously injured in chain-reaction crash

November 04, 1994|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Sun Staff Writer

A small child, a man and a pregnant woman were seriously injured when a tractor-trailer ran over a compact convertible in a five-vehicle, chain-reaction crash on Route 140 in Westminster yesterday.

The child and the woman, Patricia Lewis, 21, of Westminster, were trapped in the crushed convertible for an hour.

After rescue teams extricated them, police said they were taken to child and adult trauma centers at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in state police helicopters. The extent of their injuries was not immediately available.

Ricky McNeely, 35, of Baltimore, the driver of a pickup truck involved in the collision, was also flown to a Baltimore trauma center. The extent of his injuries and his destination were not immediately known.

Traffic on the busy highway was diverted for over three hours.

Westminster police said the tractor-trailer was northbound on Route 140 and was approaching the traffic light at the Route 97 South intersection when it slammed into the back of the Geo convertible, driven by Ms. Lewis.

The impact shoved the Geo into a heavy-duty pickup truck, turning it and lifting it up.

The pickup, driven by Mr. McNeely, 35, of the 1700 block of W. Lafayette Ave., was pushed into a Chevrolet.

The pickup overturned on the back of the car, driven by Sandra Tawney, 30, of Finksburg.

Police said the Chevrolet struck another pickup truck, causing minor damage. The driver of that truck was identified as Christine Chamberlain, 34, of Finksburg. Ms. Chamberlain and the two small children in the truck were not injured.

Mr. McNeely, who climbed out of the passenger door of his overturned pickup, was flown to a Baltimore trauma center.

Ms. Tawney, who escaped through the passenger side of her car, was taken to Carroll County General Hospital for examination.

Police identified the tractor-trailer driver as James Louis Knight, 37, of Sams Creek Road in New Windsor. He also was taken to Carroll County General Hospital. His condition was not immediately known.

Rescue teams from Westminster, Reese, Manchester and Reisterstown of Baltimore County pulled the dash and the windshield of the Geo forward and cut sections of the car away to reach the injured.

The relationship of the child, who appeared to be about 15 months old, to Ms. Lewis was not immediately known.

Westminster police, assisted by state police, said they were attempting to determine how the accident occurred. Charges were pending, Westminster police said.

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