Dundalk man gets 18 months in car crash that injured 11

January 20, 1995|By Robert Guy Matthews | Robert Guy Matthews,Sun Staff Writer

A District Court judge sentenced a Dundalk man to 18 months in the Baltimore County Detention Center yesterday for a July 4 accident in which he plowed his car into a van, injuring 11 people.

Robert Lee Compton, 41, was convicted of driving while intoxicated. The collision was his fifth alcohol-related charge. His first accident resulting in a DWI charge was July 4, 1975.

Two victims who were helping people get into the van when it was hit were upset with the sentence. They told Judge Darryl Fletcher they no longer can work because of their injuries.

"I can't work full days," James Clampet, the van's owner and mechanic. "I work piecemeal. Nothing's fair. There was 11 people he sent to the hospital."

Another victim, Joe Worden, said he has lost full use of his right hand.

Compton, of the 8200 block of Kavanaugh Road, was driving his 1979 Chevrolet Caprice on Kavanaugh Road past Grange Elementary School shortly before 11 p.m. when it slammed into the back of the parked Ford Clubwagon van. The passengers in the van were returning from a fireworks display.

"I feel for these people," Compton said after the trial. "I could have killed myself. Accidents do happen."

When the Caprice struck the van, a music cassette tape case in the front of the van shot out of the rear window, Mr. Clampet said, and all the seats in the van were unhinged.

Assistant State's Attorney Andrew I. Alperstein asked the judge to incarcerate Compton for three years.

Fred Heyman, Compton's attorney, asked the judge to place him in the county's drunken driving rehabilitation facility.

"There is little sympathy I have for you," Judge Fletcher told Compton.

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