Girl injured by police vehicle looks forward to going home

March 19, 1997|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

Shanon Marie O'Brien, the 15-year-old Pasadena high school freshman who was struck by a police vehicle while drunk in a Towson alley this month, expects to return home today from a Baltimore County rehabilitation facility.

"I'm tired of being here," she said in a telephone interview from Kernan Hospital in Woodlawn, where she has been recovering from the March 2 accident that devastated her and her family.

She misses Chesapeake High School, her friends and "being able to do things, anything -- going out, being able to ride around with my sister, just being able to walk," she said.

She said she is in a wheelchair with a broken pelvis and ankle, undergoing three sessions of therapy a day. She will be tutored at home, unable to return to school for the rest of this year.

Shanon, a resident of the 1700 block of Bayside Beach Road in Pasadena, had been riding and drinking with acquaintances, some of whom she she knew only by their first names, about 3 a.m. March 2. Canine Officer Steven M. Anderson, a member of the Baltimore County force for 15 years, was responding to a call about a car alarm sounding in the 8700 block of Lackawanna Road.

"When he got to the intersection of Lackawanna Road and the alley behind Yakona Road in Towson, he noticed a male standing at the corner at the entrance to the alley, and that male took off running," said Sgt. Kevin Novak, a Baltimore County police spokesman.

Anderson, 41, started chasing him and saw what he thought was debris or a rolled-up rug in the alley. He drove toward it, thinking his sport-utility vehicle would straddle it, but he hit the teen-ager, Novak said.

"I know that he felt terrible that this occurred -- that's what his superiors told me," Novak said, adding that Anderson, who did not return phone calls, returned to patrol duty the next day.

Shanon has no memory of being struck, but she remembers riding around with her former Perry Hall boyfriend and a half-dozen of his male friends. She drank several beers and vodka.

"Because I don't normally drink, it hit me a lot harder," she said.

Shanon said she is not angry at the police officer. "I don't feel it was [his] fault; I feel that it was something that happened."

Pub Date: 3/19/97

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