Man faces 10 charges in December accident

Two seriously hurt in Route 655 crash

January 31, 2002|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

After an accident left two people critically injured, a Tracys Landing man has been charged with causing life-threatening injuries under the influence of alcohol, according to documents unsealed yesterday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.

Michael G. Barrett, 22, was charged with drunken and reckless driving shortly after the accident Dec. 1. Authorities brought the additional charges - the most serious of which carries a potential three-year prison sentence - against him this month.

Police said Barrett, a hotel desk clerk and an assistant in a hair salon, was driving a Mitsubishi Eclipse on Route 665 near U.S. 50 when he hit the passenger side of a Ford Expedition. Two couples on their way to a Mexican restaurant in Annapolis were in the Ford.

The Ford swerved to the left and crossed into the westbound lanes of Route 665 before striking a guardrail, according to accident investigators. The rail penetrated the sport utility vehicle, police said.

The driver of the Ford, Peter Swick, 48, of Annapolis, spent 34 days in Maryland Shock Trauma Center, said Kristin Riggin, a spokeswoman for the county prosecutor's office. The lower part of his left leg had to be amputated, authorities said.

One of the passengers, Tracy L. Bates, 35, of Arnold, was also critically injured, authorities said. A portion of her left foot was amputated, her ankle was crushed and she suffered two pelvic fractures, Riggin said.

Her fiance, Gary Miciche of Arnold, and Swick's wife, Patricia, were less seriously injured, though they also were treated at the shock trauma center, police said.

Barrett now faces a total of 10 charges in the accident, including possession of cocaine and driving while impaired. The most recent charges are two counts each of causing life-threatening injuries while intoxicated and causing life-threatening injuries while impaired, Riggin said.

Those charges, filed Jan. 2, were not part of the public court record until yesterday because the warrant for Barrett's arrest was being processed by police and court clerks, said Riggin. He surrendered to police Jan. 9 and was released on his own recognizance, she said.

Barrett's lawyer, T. Joseph Touhey, said this is his client's first drunken-driving arrest.

"He never intended to hurt anyone," Touhey said.

A trial date has not been set.

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