Suspect in fatal crash has 26 points on driving record

June 09, 1998|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Westminster man charged in a fatal drag race on Route 140 last week has accumulated 26 points on his Maryland driving record in the past three years, prosecutors say.

And a Parkville man charged in the accident has been cited for speeding twice, police say.

Frederick H. Hensen Jr., 21, of the 700 block of Old Westminster Pike, Westminster, was being held yesterday in lieu of $25,000 bail after his arrest Friday on auto manslaughter and related charges.

According to charging documents, three men were racing near xTC Finksburg at speeds greater than 90 mph June 1 when a 1991 Nissan driven by Mark E. Eppig, 22, went out of control, crossed the grass median and slammed head-on into a 1997 Mitsubishi, killing Geraldine Lane "Geri" Wu, 42, of Westminster.

Wu died instantly, police said. Her 14-year-old daughter, Min-li, a passenger, was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where she was treated and released the next day.

David P. Daggett, Carroll deputy state's attorney, told Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. yesterday that Hensen has received 10 tickets, nine for speeding, in a three-year span.

In the latest incident, Hensen is charged with negligent auto manslaughter, two counts of reckless driving, negligent driving, participating in a speed contest, exceeding the posted speed limit -- in excess of 85 mph in a 55 mph zone -- driving at a speed unreasonable and imprudent, and unsafe passing.

Through his attorney, Hensen agreed to surrender his drivers license and to be placed on pretrial supervision if he is released on bail.

Scott D. Broadfoot Sr., 25, of the 8600 block of Oak Road in Parkville, faces similar charges. He was scheduled for a bail review hearing today, state police in Westminster said.

A check of Broadfoot's driving record showed four points, two points each for speeding violations in 1995 and 1996.

Eppig, of the first block of Chase St. in Westminster, was treated at the trauma center and released on June 2, a hospital spokeswoman said, but was readmitted on June 3 and released on June 5.

Lt. Leonard Armstrong, commander at the Westminster barracks of the state police, said yesterday that troopers were waiting to serve arrest warrants on Eppig.

Daggett filed a statement of probable cause to obtain the arrest warrants on Friday. According to witness statements, three cars were weaving in and out of traffic at high speed and passing cars on the right as they sped east for about four miles on Route 140 just before the crash.

In the statement, which became public yesterday at Hensen's bail review, Daggett alleged that the drag race began near Route 97 in Westminster with Eppig in the lead, followed closely by Hensen and the other man.

Upon cresting a hill near Sunset Lane, Eppig's car skidded across the median. Hensen stopped, but the other man left the scene of the accident, Daggett alleged.

Daggett said state motor vehicle law states that anyone who participates in a speed contest on a public road or highway may be charged with auto manslaughter, even if that person is not actually involved in a fatal collision.

Pub Date: 6/09/98

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