Howard teacher's death appears to be suicide, police say

August 29, 1998

A Howard County high school teacher and coach apparently leaped to his death yesterday from the bridge over the Patapsco River along Interstate 95 at Howard County's border with Baltimore County, Baltimore County police said.

The body of Vincent "Craig" O'Connell, 50, of the 100 block of Oakdale Road, Catonsville, was found shortly after 10 a.m. more than 100 feet below the bridge in about 18 inches of water in the river, said Bill Toohey, a county police spokesman.

O'Connell's van had been found by a state trooper about two hours earlier, parked on the southbound shoulder of I-95 just inside Howard County, Toohey said.

Toohey said the death was being investigated as an apparent suicide, pending a ruling by the state medical examiner.

O'Connell, a Vietnam veteran and father of five, had been a social studies teacher at Howard High School in Ellicott City since 1985 and had coached basketball, tennis and volleyball at the school for the past 10 years. Teachers and staff at the school were told of his death yesterday afternoon, a schools spokeswoman said.

Pub Date: 8/29/98

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