Harford deputies investigating details of odd train-car crash

Woman told police she doesn't remember how her vehicle got on tracks

May 18, 1999|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

Harford County sheriff's deputies are investigating a bizarre accident yesterday in which an Aberdeen woman escaped with facial injuries after her car was struck by an Amtrak passenger train in Perryman.

Mary Barbara Blair, 47, of the 3600 block of Churchville Road, told authorities she was unsure how her car ended up on the tracks in the middle of a small open field near Mitchell Lane.

Adding to the confusion, police said, was that when authorities arrived at the scene shortly after midnight yesterday, Blair was nowhere to be found. She turned up later at a friend's house about a mile from the scene.

Lt. Edward Hopkins, spokesman for the Harford County Sheriff's Office, said police were called at 12: 10 a.m. after an Amtrak train traveling from Boston to Washington, slammed into Blair's 1997 Chevrolet Geo.

"The train's engineer reported seeing someone near the car right before the accident," Hopkins said. "But he lost sight of the person once the impact occurred."

Officials said the train traveled about half a mile down the track before it came to a stop. About 100 people were on the train, but none was injured.

Blair's car was demolished. Hopkins said investigators canvassed the area but where unable to find Blair or anyone else. Hopkins said police received information from Blair's family that she might have been at a friend's house on nearby Mitchell Lane and found her there shortly before 8 a.m. yesterday.

Blair told police that she was the only one in the car and that while she doesn't remember other details of the accident, she got out of the car just moments before it was struck. She was taken to Harford Memorial Hospital, where she was listed in good condition yesterday.

Hopkins said charges are pending against Blair. Officials also were awaiting test results yesterday to determine whether alcohol or drugs were involved.

Pub Date: 5/18/99

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