Garbage truck crashes into house in Halethorpe

Driver hospitalized

family not seriously hurt

July 03, 1999|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

A Halethorpe couple, their infant son and the family puppy escaped serious injury early yesterday morning when a 13-ton garbage-hauler truck smashed through their newly renovated house.

The truck's driver, William C. Michals, 28, of Annapolis, might have blacked out just before the 5: 30 a.m. crash, said a spokesman for his employer. Michals was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was stable in serious condition yesterday.

The impact collapsed the back half of the house in the 4200 block of Washington Blvd. Tammy L. Bean, 26, and her 11-month-old son, Roman Ferrel, fell from a second-floor bedroom onto the first floor, police said. Raymond S. Ferrel, 35, and the family's Doberman puppy, Thor, were thrown out of the back of the first floor into the driveway.

"Ray was awake and down in the kitchen," said John Maul, Bean's cousin and a family spokesman. "Tammy and the baby were upstairs, asleep. The second floor collapsed. Luckily, they fell on the mattress. Tammy's got bruised ribs, but the baby didn't have a mark on him."

The couple and their son were taken to St. Agnes HealthCare and were treated and released yesterday morning. They returned to the house to watch, along with most of their neighbors, as a tow truck pulled the garbage hauler out of their kitchen.

The truck, a 1999 Mack model, was empty at the time of the crash, said a spokesman for Ameriwaste L.L.C. of Columbia, the truck's owner. A preliminary examination by county police found no mechanical problems that might have caused the crash.

Michals has worked for the company for about two months, said David Wendell, a salesman for the company. "He was one of our best guys," Wendell said.

Michals told his father at the hospital yesterday that he blacked out before the crash, Wendell said. Michals had begun work at 4: 15 a.m., said police spokesman Cpl. Vickie Warehime, and was on his way back to Columbia after a stop on Hamburg Street.

The truck veered across three lanes and left the road, knocking down a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. pole, Warehime said, then careened across Monumental Road and into the Ferrel-Bean house. Most of the cab of the truck went through the house's side wall, tearing aluminum siding and insulation into strips and breaking up the brick underneath.

The impact knocked at least one corner of the house off its foundation, and county inspectors at the scene declared it unsafe and in imminent danger of collapse.

"Our inspectors wrote a correction notice that said the house is to be taken down or made safe," said Baltimore County building inspector John Reisinger. The owner can repair the house if he wishes, Reisinger said, "but probably it's beyond that."

Maul said Bean and Ferrel plan to tear the house down. Bean works for Maul's company, S. I. Restoration, which specializes in repairing structural damage "just like this," Maul said, pointing to the house.

Sun staff researcher Jean Packard contributed to this article.

Pub Date: 7/03/99

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