3 Hopkins students die in crash Accident also injures two others returning from Thanksgiving

A spate of holiday deaths

Several travelers killed or hurt in nearby counties

November 29, 1998|By Alice Lukens | Alice Lukens,SUN STAFF

Three Johns Hopkins University graduate students were killed and two others seriously injured early yesterday when their compact car slammed into a bridge abutment on Interstate 95 south of Baltimore in the deadliest of a spate of holiday highway accidents.

Other accidents in Anne Arundel, Carroll and Howard counties since late Friday killed three others, according to police.

The five Hopkins students -- all from India, and studying engineering -- were traveling north on I-95 in Howard County, on their way home from Thanksgiving with a friend in North Carolina. Their rented Ford Escort hit a Harbor Tunnel Thruway bridge abutment about 4: 30 a.m., said state police Tfc. Arthur Betts.

Three were killed instantly, Betts said. The survivors, including the driver, were taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

The students, all men ages 21 to 26, were enrolled in Hopkins' Whiting School of Engineering on the Homewood campus.

Officials identified the dead as Bhavesh Gandhi, a 21-year-old electrical and computer engineering major from Bombay; Jithesh Parameswaran, 24, a computer sciences and engineering major from Cochin; and Swaminatha Jayaraman, 26, a material sciences and engineering major from Madras.

Injured were Veera Venkataramani, 22, an electrical and computer engineer, and Abhishek Agarwal, 23, a computer sciences student who had been driving the car. Their hometowns could not be determined last night.

University spokesman Steve Libowitz said all apparently lived near the Homewood campus, and were part of a close-knit community of students and friends left stunned by the tragedy.

A friend of the group, who lives in an apartment building on Canterbury Road where one of the dead students resided, said last night that he was too upset to talk about them.

"The death and injury of these five students is a terrible tragedy for the university and the School of Engineering," said Ilene Busch-Vishniac, dean of the school. "Our hearts go out to their family and friends. We will do everything possible to help them through their grieving."

Anne Arundel County

On the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, a 26-year-old Lanham man was killed and his passenger seriously injured when his northbound 1998 Toyota Corolla collided with a vehicle in an adjoining lane. Both vehicles skidded off the highway into the tree line about 7 a.m. yesterday, police said.

Samuel Adedugba, the driver, was pronounced dead at North Arundel Hospital shortly after the crash north of Route 32, said Sgt. Mike Keenan of the U.S. Park Police.

Adedugba's passenger, Patricia Akinrotoye, 22, whose address was not known, was reported in serious condition at Shock Trauma.

Two of the three occupants of the other car, a 1988 Mercury Sable, were treated for minor injuries at Shock Trauma, Keenan said.

Howard County

In another accident yesterday morning, 51-year-old Mary Lou Shumaker of Cooksville was killed when her Toyota Camry collided head-on with a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck just before 7 a.m., said Michael Faith, a spokesman for Howard County police.

Shumaker was traveling south on Route 32 in Glenelg in western Howard when the accident occurred near Burntwoods Road, Faith said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the driver of the pickup, Justin Dean Wilson, 19, of Dayton, was in serious condition at Shock Trauma with leg fractures.

A police officer driving to the scene was also involved in an accident, county police said. A marked cruiser driven by Officer Timothy Aronhalt collided with a 1988 Plymouth Horizon on Route 32 after Aronhalt swerved to avoid a Toyota Tercel whose driver -- a 37-year-old Eldersburg woman -- was turning left onto Ten Oaks Road.

Aronhalt was released after treatment for minor injuries at Howard County General Hospital. The driver of the Plymouth was not injured, police said.

Carroll County

A Pennsylvania man was charged with vehicular homicide while intoxicated in connection with a head-on crash Friday night that claimed the life of a 20-year-old Manchester woman.

State police said a 1989 Oldsmobile Delta 88 driven by George Albert Fredericks III, 61, of Chambersburg turned east on Route 482 from northbound Route 27 before crossing the center line and colliding with a 1987 Chevrolet Geo Spectrum.

Killed in the crash northeast of Westminster was Catherine Anne Mullikin, a passenger in the Geo driven by her roommate, Jane Kelly, also 20.

Mullikin was pronounced dead at Carroll County General Hospital, where Kelly was treated and released.

Fredericks was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail at the Carroll County Detention Center, according to Cpl. Bill Dashiells at the Westminster state police barracks.

In other accidents during the holiday period, a Shady Side couple on their way to Thanksgiving dinner were killed in southern Anne Arundel County when their car was hit by a volunteer fire department pickup truck, en route to a barn fire, and a Bladensburg man died in a collision between a van and tractor-trailer on Route 213 in Queen Anne's County on Friday morning.

Pub Date: 11/29/98

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