Kin of 3 Mids killed on road sue Maryland Poor maintenance caused accident, families claim >>TC

April 25, 1996|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

The families of three midshipmen killed in a 1993 car accident on a state highway near Annapolis sued the state for $11 million in Anne Arundel Circuit Court yesterday, alleging that defective highway maintenance caused the accident.

Midshipman 1st Class Brian L. Clark of Tigard, Ore., was returning from the Army-Navy football game in East Rutherford, N.J., about 6 a.m. Dec. 5, 1993, when his 1988 Ford Bronco smashed into a tree lying across Route 450 near Annapolis.

His passengers, Midshipman 1st Class Lisa M. Winslow, 21, of Bowling Green, Ohio; Midshipman 3rd Class Autumn Pevzner, 19, of Bentonville, Ark.; and Midshipman 3rd Class Robin S. Pegram, 20, of Tampa, Fla., were killed when a limb from the tree sheared off the roof of the Bronco.

The women were taken to Anne Arundel General Hospital, where they were pronounced dead about 7 a.m.

Their names are inscribed on a brass plaque in Memorial Hall at the Naval Academy, which was dedicated in March 1995 to midshipmen who died before they graduated.

The driver, now a 27-year-old ensign, was seriously injured but graduated in 1994, according to an academy spokeswoman. He is serving in Mayport, Fla., aboard a guided missile destroyer that has not been commissioned.

Police said after the accident that heavy rains may have inhibited visibility.

But the suit alleges that the tree fell from a right-of-way between state-owned land and private land, and that state highway crews should have acted to prevent it from falling onto the road. "The state of Maryland was negligent and breached its duty" to the victims, the suit alleges.

Robert Loskot, an assistant attorney general for the State Highway Administration, declined comment yesterday, saying he had not seen the suit.

Pub Date: 4/25/96

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