Couple escape serious injury in accident on Route 140 Pa. man became ill while driving

wife knocked to ground by car

March 25, 1998|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

An elderly Pennsylvania couple escaped serious injuries yesterday morning in a single-car accident on Route 140 northwest of Taneytown, state police said.

David and Virginia O'Dunne of Blue Ridge Summit in Adams County were traveling east about 9 a.m. and had just crossed the Monocacy River bridge into Carroll County when Mr. O'Dunne, who was driving, became ill and stopped along the shoulder, said Tfc. Steven Spoonire of the Westminster barracks of the Maryland State Police.

Mr. O'Dunne, whose age was not given, remained in the car, and Mrs. O'Dunne, 71, got out to try to flag down a passing motorist. The car suddenly went into reverse while Mrs. O'Dunne was standing behind it, knocking her to the ground but out of its path, Spoonire said.

The car traveled about 100 to 200 yards in reverse, crossed the road and struck a guard rail on the north side of the highway before coming to rest against an embankment, he said.

Mrs. O'Dunne suffered cuts to her legs in the fall, Spoonire said. He said he did not know what had caused Mr. O'Dunne to become ill.

The couple were in fair condition after being taken by state MedEvac helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in PTC Baltimore, a hospital spokeswoman said.

"I just don't know why the car suddenly backed up," Spoonire said. The gear shift "may not have been properly placed in 'park,' and it may have slipped into 'reverse.' "

An investigation is continuing, he said.

Route 140 was closed to traffic for about an hour and 30 minutes, Spoonire said.

Pub Date: 3/25/98

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