Judge's car involved in accident

Finksburg man charged with leaving scene in Ocean City

October 13, 2001|By Childs Walker | Childs Walker,SUN STAFF

A Carroll County judge with a history of driving offenses was riding in his car when a Finksburg man who was driving it hit two Ocean City townhouses and then sped off, Ocean City police said.

Police charged Horace Sterling Brauning, 71, in the incident. He was driving a Lincoln registered to Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr., police said.

Brauning said he was behind the wheel because he was the only person among six in the car who had not been drinking, according to police.

Brauning said he struck the townhouses and a nearby trailer after someone else in the car pressed on the accelerator, police said.

Police described damage to the townhouses, a trailer and nearby shrubbery as extensive.

The accident happened the night of Oct. 2, and a resident of the townhouses on 61st Street discovered the damage the next morning, police said.

Based on evidence at the scene and witness reports, Officer Vicky Crouse determined that a Lincoln had been involved.

On Oct. 4, police found a damaged Lincoln in the parking lot of the Comfort Inn at the Gold Coast Mall in Ocean City. As they were preparing to impound the car, Burns appeared and told them that Brauning had been driving, they said.

Brauning was charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident. Brauning and Burns could not be reached for comment.

Burns, 67, has had his license suspended twice, in 1994 and 1996.

Baltimore County court records show he lost his license Feb. 28, 1994, after failing to appear in court three days earlier for a speeding violation.

He had been cited Oct. 26, 1993, on Interstate 795 north of Mount Wilson Lane. The Motor Vehicle Administration lifted that suspension after Burns paid a $60 fine.

In August 1995, he was again charged with speeding in Baltimore County, and his license was suspended in February 1966 after he twice failed to appear in court.

In December 1996, he was involved in an accident on Route 140 and was charged with negligent driving and driving on a suspended license.

He eventually paid about $600 in fines for the two incidents. After Burns paid the fines, his license was reinstated and the failure-to-appear charges were dropped.

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