City asks state police to check taxicab in crash for defects Investigators hope tests can determine cause

May 15, 1998|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

City police requested help from the Maryland State Police yesterday to determine whether a mechanical defect caused a taxicab to jump a curb in Northeast Baltimore on Wednesday morning and hit five people on a sidewalk.

Sgt. Mark E. Howe, a department spokesman, said the 1991 Ford Crown Victoria owned by Yellow Van Service has been impounded at a city police lot.

Howe said that city traffic investigators will wait until mechanical tests are completed on the car before determining a cause.

The driver, Larry Dean Hall, 43, told investigators that his gas pedal had stuck to the floor, causing the sedan to careen down a sidewalk in the 2600 block of Harford Road. It hit five teen-agers, three street signs and a tree.

Hall, who has a clean driving record, was not injured.

The accident left an 80-foot-long skid mark, toppled three street signs and injured eight people -- the five pedestrians, two people in a car struck by the cab and a passenger in the cab.

The most seriously injured were Marco Ward, 17, who suffered two broken legs, and Dia Donaldson, 19, who suffered two broken legs, a broken collarbone and a broken finger.

Ward and Donaldson were the only victims hospitalized yesterday. Both were in fair condition at Johns Hopkins Hospital, a spokesman said. The six other injured were released Wednesday night from Johns Hopkins and Union Memorial Hospital.

Howe said city police were awaiting word from state police yesterday on their request.

He also said the passenger in the cab, Kimberly Kahn, 34, of Baltimore County, was sleeping in the back seat at the time of the crash and was unable to help investigators.

Pub Date: 5/15/98

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