Hospital official, son die in crash Union Memorial chairman trapped inside burning Jeep

November 23, 1995|By Richard Irwin and John Rivera | Richard Irwin and John Rivera,SUN STAFF

The board chairman of Union Memorial Hospital and one of his sons were killed yesterday afternoon when their sport-utility vehicle smashed into a tree on U.S. 50 near Easton as they headed home from a duck-hunting trip, state police said.

Police said Robert Bromwell Russell II, 62, of the 13800 block of Falls Road in Cockeysville was trapped in the vehicle he had been driving and burned to death.

His son, Edward A. Russell, 30, also of Cockeysville and a graduate student at the University of Colorado in Boulder, was pulled from the burning wreckage, but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The men's hunting dog, a retriever, was rescued uninjured by witnesses and taken to an Easton animal hospital.

Police said the men were traveling west on U.S. 50 between Easton and Trappe about 1 p.m. when their Jeep Cherokee suddenly left the roadway, ran onto the wooded median strip, hit a tree and burst into flames.

Police said motorists who witnessed the crash pulled the son from the vehicle, but heavy flames prevented the elder Mr. Russell from being rescued.

A medic crew from Trappe Volunteer Fire Company tried in vain to revive the son.

State police said the absence of skid or braking marks on the roadway next to the median indicated the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

The men reportedly were hunting waterfowl at an unknown location in Talbot County yesterday and may have been fatigued, said a state trooper at the Easton Barracks.

"Its not unusual for hunters to be tired after being in the out-of-doors for several hours since the break of dawn," said Sgt. Marlon Johnson.

Police said the cause of the accident remains under investigation.

In addition to being the board chairman at Union Memorial, the elder Mr. Russell also was a principal and chief operating officer of Investment Counselors of Maryland Inc. in Baltimore, a firm he and others founded about 15 years ago.

"He was a well-known and respected member of the investment community," said Craig Lewis, the company's chief executive officer. "He was a wonderful person. He was on a lot of local boards. He loved fly-fishing, waterfowl hunting and golf."

A graduate of the Gilman School in Baltimore and Princeton University, where he was a member of the Ivy Club, the elder Mr. Russell and the former Susan Gooch were married in 1959.

In 1967, while a broker for Robert Garrett & Sons of Baltimore, an investment banking house, Mr. Russell was appointed assistant vice president of the firm.

His son, who studied Russian and Spanish at the University of Colorado, was home for the Thanksgiving holiday when he and his father decided to go hunting for the day, a family friend said.

The younger Mr. Russell, who was fluent in Russian, served for four years in the Marine Corps before he entered graduate school. He was described as an avid hunter, fisherman and skier.

Survivors of the elder Mr. Russell, in addition to his wife, include a daughter, Holloway Russell Winterling of Oakland, Calif.; two other sons, Craig Russell of Madrid, Spain, and Robert Russell of Chapel Hill, N.C.; his mother, Ann Speake of Spartanburg, S.C.; two brothers, Thomas Ewing Russell of Spartanburg and John Russell of Aiken, S.C.; and three grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete, said a family friend.

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