Baltimore girl, 7, killed in accident on Falls Road 3-vehicle collision occurs on wet pavement

March 22, 1998|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

A 7-year-old girl on her way to a ballet class was killed yesterday when a minivan driven by her mother was struck broadside by a car and overturned and hit another vehicle at a Baltimore County intersection.

Police said the driver of the car went through a stoplight and skidded into the van on the wet pavement at the intersection of Falls and West Joppa roads.

The girl, Hannah Elizabeth Schlessinger, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her mother, Katherine R. Schlessinger, 43, of the 600 block of Washington Blvd. in Baltimore, was treated at Sinai Hospital for minor injuries and released.

Police said neither drugs nor alcohol was a factor in the accident at 11: 45 a.m.

The other driver, Patricia Ann Horneck, 39, of the 500 block of S. Montford Ave. in Baltimore, was heading north on Falls Road in a 1992 Pontiac Sunbird and went through the light at Joppa Road, according to police.

Horneck tried to stop, but her car skidded on the wet pavement and hit the driver's side of Schlessinger's 1991 Dodge minivan, police said.

As the minivan overturned, it hit a 1996 Toyota RAV4 sport utility vehicle in the next lane, police said. Its driver, Martha Jane Cleckner, 42, of Easton, was released after treatment at St. Joseph Medical Center.

Horneck was treated at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center and released.

Neighbors in the community where the Schlessingers have lived for nearly seven years said Hannah was the oldest of Katherine and Andrew Schlessinger's three daughters. The girls enjoyed creating stories and acting them, one neighbor said.

The intersection has been a frequent site of accidents, according to area business operators -- including a fiery crash in November when a car slammed into a gas station pump.

"We make a lot of 911 calls from our place," said George Treuting, a mechanic at Valley Exxon at West Joppa and Falls roads -- the station where the November crash occurred. "I've been here 14 years and there's been a lot of accidents there. In the summertime, you can hear the skids and bangs in the shop."

Pub Date: 3/22/98

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