Student hit by car in Nov. dies of injuries

Glen Burnie High senior was struck as he walked across Ritchie Highway

January 05, 2001|By Rona Kobell | Rona Kobell,SUN STAFF

Steven Pogar, the Glen Burnie High School senior who was struck by a car two months ago as he walked across Ritchie Highway at Fifth Avenue, died early yesterday at Kernan Hospital of complications from his injuries.

The 17-year-old had been hospitalized since the Nov. 1 accident and had appeared to be recovering.

The news cast a pall over Glen Burnie High, where Steven excelled in nutrition classes and was known for his extensive volunteer work. He often helped his mother, Janet Pogar, who is president of the Parent Teacher Student Organization, with fund raising.

"He was one of those kids that you're really happy to have," said Assistant Principal Frank Drazan.

Grief counselors were on hand to console students, many of whom were shocked because the accident happened so long ago and because the teen-ager had appeared to be recovering. Two weeks ago, he spoke his first words since the accident.

The school is planning a memorial service for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17.

Steven died a week before county police are to begin stationing station a crossing guard for the intersection near the high school. That had been a crusade of Janet Pogar long before the accident.

As PTSO president, Pogar had been lobbying state and local officials for a year to improve the intersection. She recommended that the speed limit along Ritchie Highway be reduced from 45 mph to 25 mph and that a flashing light and a crossing guard be placed at the intersection.

Last month, the State Highway Administration installed rumble strips to alert motorists to slow down. At the urging of several state legislators, County Executive Janet S. Owens recommended a crossing guard for the intersection.

Janet Pogar, who laid a wreath at the intersection yesterday, said she will keep lobbying until the speed limit is reduced. She was angry that police were blaming the accident on pedestrian error and not lodging charges against the 17-year-old driver of the car that hit her son.

The fourth of six children, Steven was planning to attend cooking school in the fall. He also was interested in oceanography.

The family plans to sprinkle his ashes at a favorite vacation spot in Ocean City after a funeral, which will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Harundale Presbyterian Church, Eastway and Guilford Road.

"He was just the child any parent would ever want as a teen-ager," Janet Pogar said. "The only grief he ever gave us was when he died."

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