Two crashes kill 5 people on holiday

Drunken driving suspected as cause in both incidents

Man, 7-year-old die

Three are dead in Cecil County after autos collide

January 02, 2000|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

Drunken driving is suspected in separate accidents that killed five people, including a 7-year-old Montgomery County girl, on Maryland roads early yesterday, state police reported.

Olivia Thomas of the 20000 block of Wolfdale Court in Gaithersburg and her father, Ed Thomas, 35, were killed when a 1999 Oldsmobile Cutlass slammed into their disabled vehicle shortly after 2 a.m. Thomas's black 1988 BMW was parked in the shoulder of southbound Interstate 95, near I-895 in Howard County, police said.

"Mr. Thomas had called for help on his cell phone," said state police Tfc. Clifford Hughes of the Waterloo barracks. "They were waiting on a tow truck."

Police said Sirron Lamar Farmer, 25, of Queens Village, N.Y., was driving the Cutlass in the right lane of I-95 when the rental car left the highway and rear-ended Thomas' BMW, killing the financial analyst and his daughter.

The girl was pronounced dead at the scene, said Hughes, who is investigating the accident. Thomas was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was pronounced dead. The accident forced state police to close all four lanes of southbound I-95 for more than an hour, Hughes said.

"Maybe [Farmer] just went off the roadway," Hughes said. "He never hit his brakes."

Farmer was taken by ambulance to St. Agnes HealthCare in Baltimore for minor injuries. He was being treated there under guard by state police, Hughes said.

At the time of the accident, Farmer had "a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and red, glassy eyes," Hughes added.

Police are waiting for the results of toxicology tests to determine Farmer's blood-alcohol level. The investigation is continuing.

In a separate accident in Cecil County yesterday, two men and one woman were killed about 1 a.m. when three cars collided on Telegraph Road (Route 273), near Gallagher Road, said state police Tfc. David Miranda of the North East barracks.

Police said Jeremy S. Bard, 22, of Newark, Del., was traveling west in a 1994 Honda Civic and crossed a double-yellow line while trying to pass a 1992 Chrysler Imperial, causing the Civic to collide with a 1994 Dodge Intrepid traveling in the opposite direction.

Bard and the couple in the Intrepid were killed instantly and pronounced dead at the scene, Miranda said. The couple were identified as Daniel K. Dacosta, 34, of Boulder, Colo., and Maura O'Malley Carberr, 36, of Newark, Del.

The man driving the Imperial was not injured. His car sustained minor damage, Miranda said.

"The accident was caused by alcohol and high speed," Miranda said. Police said investigators found open beer bottles in the Civic and were told by witnesses that the car was speeding. The investigation is continuing, police said.

The accident closed Telegraph Road in both directions for about two hours, Miranda said. It was the second fatal car accident in Cecil County in as many weeks.

Four Pikesville residents were killed and two others were critically injured in a one-car accident on a rural Cecil County road on Christmas when their crowded car struck a tree.

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