Car hits police cruiser woman injured

5 crashes in 4 days involve public safety vehicles

one person killed

March 10, 1998|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A crash on Route 108 yesterday that left an Ellicott City woman in serious condition was the latest of five Howard County accidents in four days that involved public safety vehicles. One of the accidents killed a Columbia man early Saturday.

Police said that the most recent accident occurred about 3 p.m. Monday when Howard County Police Officer Mark Hart, traveling east on Route 108 in Clarksville, slowed to make a left turn onto Sheppard Lane.

A car driven by Elizabeth Godbout, 54, of the 8500 block of Harvest View Court in Ellicott City, slammed into the police cruiser from behind, police said.

Godbout was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where she was listed in serious condition yesterday. Hart was treated and released at Howard County General Hospital.

The fatal accident on Saturday occurred at 12: 45 a.m., when a car struck a state trooper's vehicle that was sitting on the shoulder of Interstate 95 near Route 100.

State police said a southbound Toyota, driven by Allen Smith, 48, of the 5700 block of Thunder Hill Road in Columbia, spun into the highway after striking the trooper's cruiser. The car was then hit by a Jeep Cherokee.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene. Trooper Jeffrey Eichorn was flown to the Shock Trauma Center, where he was treated and released. The Jeep driver and a passenger were also treated and released.

The other three accidents:

About 9 p.m. Sunday, Officer Mark Heron, 37, was responding to a domestic disturbance when he lost control of his patrol car on Harper's Farm Road near El Camino, skidded across the center line and struck a tree, police said.

Heron was taken by ambulance to Shock Trauma, treated and released, police said.

About 3 p.m. Saturday, an ambulance was struck by a 1997 Toyota pickup truck, leaving one firefighter with minor injuries.

Police said the accident occurred when the ambulance, traveling west on Triadelphia Mill Road, stopped at Highland Road, then pulled into the intersection, where it was struck by the Toyota driven by Ronald Dean Pieper, 51, of Clarksville.

Driving the ambulance was Firefighter Paramedic Michael Allen Buckley, 25.

The accident is under investigation, and no charges have been filed, police said. Firefighter Theresa Ann Thompson, who was in the rear of the ambulance, sustained minor injuries.

On Friday afternoon, a Howard County fire engine, traveling west on Route 175, tried to make a U-turn at Snowden River Parkway and was hit by a car, police said.

No one was injured in the crash. The car's driver, Paul Michael Powell, a U.S. State Department employee stationed in Poland, was charged with passing an emergency vehicle and failing to stay more than 500 feet behind a fire engine.

Pub Date: 3/10/98

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