Car kills woman, 82, in her garden

March 19, 1995|By Sherry Joe and Kerry O'Rourke | Sherry Joe and Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writers Sun staff writer Anne Haddad contributed to this article.

An 82-year-old Westview-area woman gardening in her front yard died yesterday after a car carrying six teen-agers went out of control and knocked her through a window into her basement, Baltimore County police reported.

Blanche Liptrap of the 5800 block of Carroll St. was weeding a garden on the side of the house about 6 p.m., police said, when a Chevrolet Caprice with six teens swerved through some shrubbery into the front yard and smashed into the side of the house.

The impact was so powerful, police said, that the car's front end smashed through the house's cinder-block basement wall. Police said one boy seated in the back of the car was flown by helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. He was stable last night with neck injuries, police said.

Police said a 16-year-old girl was driving the car north on Wilson Avenue when she tried to turn left onto Carroll Street, missed the turn and veered right through bushes into Mrs. Liptrap's front yard.

Police withheld the names of the teen-agers because all were under 18. A police spokesman said a preliminary breath test showed alcohol was not involved.

Neighbors said Mrs. Liptrap, who lived alone, enjoyed working in her corner-lot garden.

"When the weather's good, she likes to piddle out in her garden," said Mrs. George Bessel, a neighbor for 40 years.

Fred Plitt of the 1200 block of Wilson Ave. called 911 after watching the car ram into the house.

"All of a sudden I saw the car shooting through the house," said Mr. Plitt, who was talking on the telephone at the time. "What a freak accident. I was just stunned."

Mrs. Liptrap's "children and grandchildren are out there and hysterical," Mrs. Bessel said.

Several neighbors heard the aftermath of the accident.

"All I heard was screeching tires and somebody saying, 'Oh, no,' " said Mary Showalter of the 5900 block of Carroll St. "I heard the police and fire engines going by."

Jeannette Whiteford of the 1100 block of Wilson Ave. heard ambulances racing to the scene and went down to investigate.

"I just saw one of the occupants of the car sitting on the ground and some emergency people were working on them."

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