Suspects received speeding tickets Two men charged in fatal crash had points on records

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

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

A Parkville man who also was 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 in lieu of $25,000 bail yesterday, after his arrest Friday on auto manslaughter and related charges.

According to charging documents, three men were racing near 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, an eighth-grade teacher at Mount Airy Middle School, 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 driver's license and be placed on pretrial supervision, if released on bail.

Scott D. Broadfoot Sr., 25, of the 8600 block of Oak Road in Parkville, faces charges similar to those filed against Hensen. He is scheduled for a bail 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 June 2, a hospital spokeswoman said, but was readmitted June 3 and released after unspecified treatment June 5.

Lt. Leonard Armstrong, commander at the Westminster barracks of the Maryland State Police, said yesterday that troopers were waiting to serve arrest warrants on Eppig, who is recuperating.

Daggett filed a statement of probable cause to obtain the arrest warrants 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 fatal 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 two men.

Upon cresting a hill near Sunset Lane, Eppig's vehicle skidded across the median, authorities said. Hensen stopped, but the other man failed to remain at the scene of the accident, Daggett alleged.

Pub Date: 6/09/98

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