Infant dies when mother's car is hit

Hatchback stopped at light is rear-ended on rain-slicked street

April 02, 1999|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

An infant was killed yesterday when a small hatchback in which she was riding was rear-ended by a car driven by a man on a rain-slicked street in East Baltimore, city police said.

Moments after the crash at 11 a.m. on Erdman Avenue, witnesses said, the child's distraught mother carried the injured 5-month-old girl into the Garden Bar, where a patron and later a police officer administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

"The mother was screaming and the baby wasn't breathing," said Josh Evans, 34, who works nearby and helped carry the baby inside. Police said the infant suffered apparent head injuries.

Chrischele Williams was pronounced dead shortly before noon at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Police were interviewing the drivers of both cars, but did not file charges yesterday. Police said the state's attorney's office will review the case, as is standard in fatal car accidents.

Residents and area workers who gathered at the crash site complained of accidents on Erdman Avenue, which borders an industrial area on one side and houses on another. The speed limit is 35 mph, but many said the wide road with few traffic lights encourages speeding.

"It's like a raceway up and down here," Evans said.

Maj. Arthur Smith, commander of the Northeastern Police District, said he has more problems with accidents in other areas. He said Erdman Avenue "is not a hot spot traffic-wise," but he said he might order increased patrols to catch speeders and red-light runners.

Police identified the infant's mother as Michele Tyler Williams, 27, of the 1200 block of N. Potomac St., less than a half-mile from the accident scene. She was not injured.

Investigators said Williams' car was stopped at a red light -- heading west -- on Erdman Avenue at North Macon Street.

Agent Angelique Cook-Hayes, a police spokeswoman, said a white 1990 Oldsmobile sedan driven by Herbert Anderson, 85, of the 1400 block of N. Bond St. slammed into the back of the 1990 Geo Metro, causing it to spin around. The Oldsmobile came to a stop about 200 feet west of the crash.

Cook-Hayes said the infant was in a child seat.

As officers took measurements and photos of the scene, Anderson sat in the passenger seat of his car, unaware that an infant had died. He said he couldn't stop because of the rain.

Pub Date: 4/02/99

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