2 killed trying to cross street

Infant, mother die when car jumps curb on Essex roadway

Four others are injured

June 02, 1999|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,SUN STAFF

An infant in a stroller and her mother were killed in Essex yesterday afternoon when a station wagon jumped a curb and crushed them against a utility pole as they waited to cross a busy highway, state police reported.

A second woman who was also waiting to cross Route 702 at Middleborough Road suffered serious head injuries, said Lt. Raymond Grissett, commander of the Golden Ring barracks.

Police said three occupants of the station wagon -- which had been hit by a sport utility vehicle before striking the pedestrians -- suffered minor injuries.

FOR THE RECORD - In an article yesterday, The Sun incorrectly identified Kia-Denise Hughes, 21, who was killed Tuesday in an Essex car crash, as the mother of 15-month-old Leearna McKenny, who also was killed. Preliminary information provided to state police indicated that the woman was the child's mother, but further investigation identified Hughes as a family friend. The Sun regrets the error.

Police identified the dead as Leearna McKenny, 15 months, of the 5700 block of Onnen Road in Northeast Baltimore, and Kia-Denise Hughes, 21, of the 600 block of S. Avondale Road in Baltimore County.

No condition was available for the other pedestrian, Janice Lakesha Scott, 22, of the first block of Valley Arbor Court in Essex. She was being treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The driver of the station wagon, Maria Diana Reedy, 37, of the 8500 block of Delegge Road in Rosedale, and her son, Daniel, 8, were treated at Hopkins. Her other son, Nicholas, 12, was treated at Franklin Square Hospital Center.

The driver of the sport utility vehicle, a 63-year-old Essex woman, was uninjured, according to investigators.

The mother "just kept asking was her baby OK, was her baby OK," said Bria Nelson, who said she was about 10 feet from the crash. "She was just laying there, paralyzed, stretched out. Then she got quiet, like she was going into shock. I felt so helpless."

The crash occurred about 4 p.m. Grissett said witnesses indicated that the sport utility vehicle was traveling south on Route 702 when it attempted to turn left onto Middleborough Road. The vehicle collided with the station wagon, which was northbound on Route 702, he said.

The station wagon spun out of control and crushed the pedestrians against a utility pole on a concrete island that separates the highway from a merge lane, Grissett said. The woman and the infant were dead at the scene.

The impact threw the other pedestrian into the merge lane, Grissett said. Police closed Route 702 to allow paramedics to treat the injured and to give investigators time to determine what had caused the collision.

Nelson said she was on the sidewalk along Route 702, returning with her 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son to their home in the nearby Kings Mill apartments, when the crash occurred.

"I felt the heat from the car. I felt the swerve," she said.

Grissett said a crisis team was summoned to counsel the woman driving the sport utility vehicle and a Baltimore County police officer who was first to arrive at the scene. Accident scenes involving small children are the most difficult to endure, he said.

"Even though we're the coarse, hardened people, or, at least, we're pitched to be, we still have beating hearts in here," Grissett said.

No charges were immediately filed in the accident.

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