4-vehicle crash leaves 2 drivers in hospital Morning rush-hour traffic backed up near Annapolis

October 28, 1998|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

The driver of a pickup truck cut in front of a school bus outside Annapolis yesterday, leading to a four-vehicle pile-up and a morning rush-hour snarl, police said.

There were no children on the bus, which was returning to the Annapolis Bus Co. lot after a trip to Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, said Shirley Brown, manager of the bus company.

Traffic was backed up along Aris T. Allen Boulevard from the Riva Road exit to U.S. 50, Anne Arundel County police said.

Sheila Harr, the driver of the pickup truck, was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where she was in serious but stable condition yesterday. Alan Allen, the bus driver, and Carol Rathmell, one of the other drivers, were taken to Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly. Allen was treated and released. Rathmell, 49, of the 700 block of Oak Wide Way in Millersville was in fair condition yesterday. James Chaney, the fourth driver, was not injured.

Police said the bus was headed east in the center lane of Aris T. Allen Boulevard at the Riva Road exit just after 8: 30 a.m. when a black Ford 250 pickup truck driven by Harr, 49, of the 200 block of Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd. in Severna Park, cut in front of it.

The bus rammed the rear of the pickup truck, then swerved into the right-hand lane, where it crashed into the driver's side of a 1997 Saturn driven by Rathmell and rear-ended another pickup truck. The bus, the Saturn and second pickup came to rest along the right-hand guardrail. The first truck swerved to the left and came to rest against the left-hand guardrail, police said.

Police said they cited Harr for an improper lane change.

All lanes of Aris T. Allen were closed for about 20 minutes while tow trucks cleared the wreckage.

Pub Date: 10/28/98

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