Doctors couldn't reattach girl's foot Injury occurred when brother crashed stolen car in chase

October 14, 1995|By PETER HERMANN | PETER HERMANN,SUN STAFF

Doctors at Johns Hopkins Children's Center were unable to reattach the severed right foot of a 2-year-old girl who was injured in a crash Thursday when her brother tried to elude Baltimore police while driving a stolen car.

But a team of plastic surgeons and orthopedists will help the child "to wear shoes and walk normally," according to the hospital.

The girl was listed in fair condition and was expected to remain hospitalized for several weeks. The Sun is not naming her to protect the identity of her 16-year-old brother, who is charged as a juvenile with unauthorized use of a car and maiming.

The lead pediatric surgeon, Dr. Nancy Hadley Miller, an orthopedic specialist, said in a statement that paramedics and bystanders "did a fantastic job of recovering the amputated part and preserving it."

But, the doctor said, the wound and foot "were extremely dirty and bruised. Unfortunately, with the degree of damage to the amputated part, we felt that it could not be reattached successfully."

The incident began about 12:15 p.m. Thursday when a police officer saw a 1991 Honda at Hillen and Harford roads -- reported stolen Oct. 6 from Baltimore County -- and got out of his cruiser. The car sped off, jumped a median strip and raced south on northbound Hillen.

The car's route included many side streets, where it hit several parked cars. Investigators said they did not know how the foot was severed.

Police said the driver ran from the crash scene carrying his sister, but put her down when he apparently realized what had happened. Police arrested the teen-ager a few blocks away.

Officers carried the injured child to the intersection, where a bystander had apparently retrieved the foot and packed it in ice.

One of the paramedics who took the girl to the hospital, Linda Coogan, an eight-year veteran, said this case was particularly disturbing. "She's crying, I'm crying -- it was the most pitiful thing I've seen in my life."

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