Unattended, stalled tractor-trailer rolls off parking lot into motel office

April 23, 1996|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,SUN STAFF

A frustrated tractor-trailer driver finally got his stalled vehicle to move in the parking lot of a Jessup motel yesterday morning -- but he wasn't in it, and it crashed into an office on the side of the inn, Howard County police said.

Rescue officials said the accident just after 7 a.m. at the Greenway Motel in the 7700 block of U.S. 1 caused no serious injuries.

The only person reported hurt -- Ruth Tilghman, 50, a motel office employee -- was treated at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore and released by 4: 20 p.m. yesterday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Police said William Ben Winters, 58, of Cochise, Ariz., an employee of United Van Lines, had trouble getting the engine of his 1989 International tractor started.

He released the brake and tried to get the vehicle to drift before he started the engine.

When that didn't work, he got out -- forgetting to reset the emergency brake -- and went to make a phone call in the motel, police Sgt. Steven Keller, a police spokesman, said.

Mr. Winters "heard a noise," looked back and saw the tractor trailer rolling into the motel office, Sergeant Keller said.

Mr. Winters was issued a citation for leaving a commercial vehicle unattended without setting the emergency brake, he said.

County rescuers and inspectors were checking the building for structural damage yesterday.

Pub Date: 4/23/96

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