Defendant denies racing before crash

November 19, 1998|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A Westminster man on trial for auto manslaughter told a jury yesterday that he was speeding, but not racing, before a deadly accident along Route 140 in June.

Frederick H. Hensen Jr., 21, said his car had two broken and one damaged studs on the left-front wheel and was shaking too wildly to drive faster than 75 mph.

Hensen is one of two men on trial on auto manslaughter charges in Carroll Circuit Court. The defense of co-defendant Scott D. Broadfoot, 25, of Parkville was to continue today, the fourth day of testimony.

The third driver, Mark E. Eppig, 22, of Westminster, pleaded guilty Oct. 27 to auto manslaughter.

According to his testimony Tuesday, Eppig lost control of his Nissan near Finksburg, crossed the Route 140 median and struck a Mitsubishi, killing Geraldine Lane "Geri" Wu, 42.

Charles D. Pembleton, an expert accident reconstructionist, agreed with Hensen that the wheel likely would have come off at speeds in excess of 90 mph, as witnesses have estimated.

A state police reconstructionist testified earlier that Eppig was traveling at least 102 mph when he lost control that evening.

Eppig agreed to testify against Hensen and Broadfoot in return for a maximum sentence of three years, to be served at the local jail.

Eppig contended in Tuesday's testimony that he and Broadfoot engaged in a race and Hensen was following close behind when they left a Westminster shopping center parking lot about 9: 25 p.m.

Pub Date: 11/19/98

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