Woman dies in crash with truck driven by off-duty police officer Law enforcer tried to pass in no-pass zone

October 16, 1997|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF Staff researcher Jean Packard contributed to this article.

An off-duty Baltimore police officer who tried to pass a truck on the Hanover Pike -- despite a double yellow line -- caused a head-on collision that killed an Upperco woman early yesterday, Baltimore County police said.

Antoinette Rupp, 49, of the 5500 block of Emory Road was dead at the scene of the accident, said county police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Novak.

Officer Ralph Raymond Archibald, 36, of the 3000 block of Crown Circle in Manchester was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where a nursing spokeswoman said he was stable in serious condition last night.

The crash occurred about 4: 50 a.m., Novak said. Archibald, heading north in a 1992 Chevy S10 pickup truck, pulled out to pass a tanker truck on a section of highway where passing is prohibited. His truck collided with the Subaru Legacy wagon driven by Rupp, a U.S. Customs employee on her way to work.

The tanker truck was not involved in the accident.

"Witnesses said the Legacy tried to move to the shoulder to get out of the way," Novak said. "Investigators attributed the accident to speed and driver error."

As is mandatory in all fatal accidents, alcohol testing was performed, he said. Results were not available yesterday.

City police spokesman Robert W. Weinhold Jr. said Archibald worked the 4 p.m.-to-midnight shift in the Western District.

The facts and circumstances of the accident will be reviewed by Archibald's commander, Weinhold said. No disciplinary action had been taken yesterday, he said.

Rupp, whose nickname was "Peaches," was devoted to her family and her Catholic faith, neighbors said.

"She was a very warm and outgoing person," said Janet Biles, who lives nearby and was a close friend. "She was a wonderful mother and very involved in her church, St. Bartholomew's."

Rupp and her husband, David, had been Couple of the Year in their Knights of Columbus group at least twice, Biles said. They have a son, David, 16.

The Rupps bought the lot for their house about 19 years ago, shortly after Biles moved there, and the two families quickly became friends.

"My son and Chris have been friends ever since we moved here," Biles said.

The family was getting ready to celebrate Rupp's 50th birthday next month, she said.

Biles and others said that suburban development has made Hanover Pike, also called Route 30, increasingly crowded. The speed limit on that part of the road is 50 mph, and passing is prohibited in many places.

Pub Date: 10/16/97

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