Their lives cut short, pair to rest together

After years of friendship, women killed in crash to be buried side by side

October 02, 2001|By Jason Song and Michael Scarcella | Jason Song and Michael Scarcella,SUN STAFF

Kenya Wilson and Katrina S. Smith went to the mall together, talked often on the phone, attended the same high school.

Soon, the North Baltimore friends - both mothers of young children - will be laid to rest together. They were killed early Sunday when, police said, the driver of a stolen Jeep sped through a red light and hit their car.

"They'll be buried at the same time, side by side," Wilson's mother, Gail Wolfson, said yesterday. "That's what they would want."

Wilson, 22, and Smith, 25, attended a party Saturday night. While they were driving home along 25th Street in Baltimore about 3:20 a.m. Sunday in Wilson's Hyundai Accent, they were rammed by a Jeep that was speeding on Greenmount Avenue.

"I want to see the maximum penalty - for them both," said Stanley Johnson Jr., 23, Wilson's fiance, referring to the driver of the Jeep and an unidentified passenger who fled. "This is first-degree murder."

The women died about an hour after the accident at Johns Hopkins Hospital. A passenger in the back seat of Wilson's Hyundai is in critical condition at the hospital.

Timmy Jackson, 43, of the 2200 block of Henneman Ave. who police say was driving the Jeep, was in fair condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

He had not been charged as of last night.

"They were both stay-at-home girls," said Wolfson. "It was such a special occasion for them to go out together and for this to happen. ... It's devastating."

Growing up, Wilson and Smith lived near the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. They became good friends as teen-agers, when they both went to Frederick Douglass High School.

"They talked every day since the ninth grade," said Danna Blount, a friend of Smith's.

Although they attended different colleges for a brief period, the friends' relationship continued. Both recently bought homes in their old neighborhood. Both talked of returning to school to complete their degrees.

Smith bought a house next to her parents' home in the 300 block of Charter Oak Ave. in April after separating from her husband last year.

"She was so proud to own her own home," said her father, Leroy McCall Jr., 49. "She did it all by herself. She was very determined."

McCall said his daughter often worked more than 50 hours a week at Metris Cos. Inc., a collections agency in White Marsh.

Smith had two sons, Marvin, 5, and Marcus, 2. Wilson, who lived in the 5600 block of Northwood Drive, had a daughter, Daija Wolfson, 2.

The women's parents said the pair were devoted mothers.

"They were never wild; they never did drugs, but they realized that they had to reprioritize their lives," Blount said. "A typical Saturday night for [Smith] was singing to her children and watching the Cartoon Network with them."

Terrell Brown, 26, of the 400 block of E. Lorraine Ave., the third person in Wilson's Hyundai, had recently returned from New York, where he was involved with the cleanup of the World Trade Center disaster site.

Brown met Wilson and Smith within the past several weeks, according to family members.

Although Brown, who was sitting behind Wilson, may lose part of his left leg, his family and friends say they're still thankful.

"I'd rather have him be alive with no foot than be dead with both feet," said his grandmother, Patsy Isaac. "I sure feel sorry for the families of those two girls."

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