Girl, 16, dies when she is hit by pickup Teen is pinned against wall at her school

October 26, 1998|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

A teen-age girl was killed when a pickup truck went out of control on a South Baltimore street yesterday and pinned her against the wall of the school where she was a ninth-grader, a police traffic investigator said.

Residents of 16-year-old Karen Lynn Hayes' tightly knit, working-class neighborhood in Brooklyn were hit hard by the news of her death and several of her friends held a candlelight vigil last night at the accident scene in the 3600 block of West Bay Ave.

Teddy bears and flowers were left at the wall of Benjamin Franklin Middle School, where Hayes was pinned and a male friend, who was walking with her, suffered minor injuries. Neighbors gathered in front of their homes and on street corners,

talking about the fatal accident.

Hayes, of the 3600 block of St. Margaret St., suffered massive injuries in the 12: 40 p.m. accident and was pronounced dead at 1: 08 p.m. at Harbor Hospital Center, said Officer William Phelps of the Traffic Investigation Section.

Allin Lebar, 16, of the 3800 block of 10th St., a companion of Hayes, suffered cuts and abrasions and was treated at Harbor Hospital and released, police said. Timothy Pawliske, 15, also of the 3800 block of 10th St., who was with Hayes and Lebar, escaped injury.

The driver of the truck, a 17-year-old Brooklyn boy, suffered minor head injuries and was treated at Harbor Hospital, police said.

Phelps said the driver's name was withheld pending a review of the accident by the Baltimore state's attorney's office.

According to Phelps, the friends were walking south in the 3600 block of West Bay Ave. alongside the school when the driver of a 1989 Ford F-150 truck that was westbound on Cambria Street turned south onto West Bay.

Phelps said the truck went out of control and struck a small brick wall and a telephone pole, and then hit Hayes and Lebar, pinning her against the school wall and knocking Lebar to the ground.

Police said Lebar got up and he and Pawliske ran to Hayes' home about a block away to tell her grandparents, with whom she lived, what had happened. The boys and Hayes' grandparents and an uncle ran back to the scene of the accident.

Larry Nuckles, the grandfather, said that before the ambulance arrived, he tried to talk to the trapped girl but did not get a response.

"I kept calling her name," he said, "but she never said a word."

Phelps said firefighters freed Hayes from the front of the truck after several minutes and she was taken by ambulance to Harbor Hospital, where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Gloria Walter, Hayes' grandmother, said Hayes was a special education student who was trying hard to make up for time lost when she didn't attend school.

"She often said she wanted to help other kids with learning problems when she grew up," Walter said last night in her living room.

"Just a few minutes before she left the house to walk down to the school, she was sitting here in the living room drawing pictures," said Nuckles.

Phelps said the driver of the truck told him he was hauling trash to a landfill and the truck experienced "some kind of mechanical failure" that caused him to lose control.

Phelps said the truck will be examined by the state police's Automotive Safety Enforcement Division to determine if a mechanical problem occurred.

Pub Date: 10/26/98

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