Deck built without permit collapses, injuring family of 4 in Hunt Valley

Couple treated, released

sons slightly injured

August 21, 1999|By Laura Cadiz | Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF

A second-story deck that collapsed Thursday night at a Hunt Valley house, injuring four people, was built without a Baltimore County permit, county licensing officials said.

The deck collapsed about 9: 45 p.m. in the 13000 block of Jerome Jay Drive. Donald Parks, 56, was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, said county police spokeswoman Cpl. Vickie Warehime. He suffered back injuries and was released yesterday morning.

His wife, Kendra Parks, 56, was treated for leg lacerations and released. Their two sons, Garrett Parks, 29, and Geoffrey Parks, 16, were treated at the scene for cuts and bruises.

The family was having dinner on the 15-by-14-foot deck when it collapsed.

"I didn't know what was happening," Donald Parks said. "One moment I was sitting there enjoying the evening; the next moment I was lying on the ground with two firefighters talking to me."

The Baltimore County Department of Permits and Licenses found that the ledger board, which secures the deck to the house, had pulled loose and caused the deck to fall, said John Reisinger, county building engineer.

The ledger board was improperly installed with nails driven into masonry, Reisinger said. It should have been attached to the house with bolts, keeping the board from pulling out, he said.

In 1990, permits were issued for the house, built by Prestige Homes. Parks said the deck was built when the house was. There were no subsequent permits including a deck, Reisinger said.

Someone who builds without a permit could be fined $1,000.

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