Van strikes, kills man, injures two others on Ritchie...

Arundel Digest

February 12, 2002

Van strikes, kills man, injures two others on Ritchie Highway

A van struck a landscaping crew on Ritchie Highway in Arnold yesterday, killing one of the Baltimore County workers and seriously injuring two others, Anne Arundel County police said.

Police said the driver of the van apparently had blacked out when his vehicle ran onto the median about noon, striking the workers.

When the driver regained consciousness, police said, he tried to perform first aid on the injured workers before he blacked out for a second time and suffered a seizure.

Giovany Acosta, 24, of the 6900 block of Brookmill Road in Reisterstown was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, police said.

Acosta's 21-year-old cousin, Juan Carlos Acosta of the same address, was in serious condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center yesterday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The third worker, Jose Wilfredo Hernandez of the same address, was admitted to North Arundel Hospital with minor injuries, police said.

All three men worked at Baltimore-based H.F. Huber and Son Inc., which was hired by the state to landscape along Ritchie Highway.

The driver of the van, Earl Wayne Bowers, 44, of Stevensville, was in serious condition at the trauma center last night, a hospital spokeswoman said. There was no indication that Bowers was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or that he had been driving recklessly before he blacked out, police said.

Students taken to hospital, released after bus accident

After an accident in Linthicum about 2 p.m. yesterday, a busload of North County High School students were taken to Harbor Hospital for evaluation, county police said.

Within minutes of the accident, some students began complaining of headaches, according to police reports. Another bus took all 24 students, ages 14 to 17, to the hospital, police said. All were released.

The bus, which was taking the students home, rear-ended a Ford Escort stopped on Route 648 waiting to make a left turn onto East Maple Road. Police said it appeared that the bus was following the car too closely. The 64-year-old bus driver, Clayton A. Colliflower of the 600 block of Biscay Avenue in Linthicum, was issued a citation for failing to reduce speed to avoid a collision, said Lt. Joseph E. Jordan, a county police spokesman.

No one in the car was injured, police said.

Annapolis man, 34, shot during home invasion

A 34-year-old Annapolis man was shot in the back during a home invasion about noon yesterday, Annapolis police said.

Gregory Clifford, who called 911 after being shot, was in serious condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center yesterday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Clifford told police he was alone in his house in the 600 block of Greenbriar Lane when he heard a noise and went to the upstairs hallway to investigate. He said he was confronted by a male intruder with a handgun and ran to his bedroom and shut the door.

The gunman fired a shot through the door and hit Clifford, said Officer Hal Dalton, a city police spokesman.

Detectives were searching yesterday for the gunman and a motive for the shooting, Dalton said.

Woman charged in robbery of candy company employee

An employee of a Glen Burnie tobacco and candy wholesale company was temporarily paralyzed by a stun gun used to rob her yesterday, county police said.

The 21-year-old woman's co-workers captured a woman within minutes of the assault, said Lt. Joseph E. Jordan, a county police spokesman.

At noon, shortly after Soo Hwang left the offices of Interstate 95 Inc., on Penrod Court, to make a bank deposit, a woman came up behind her in the parking lot, stunning her in the back of her neck and right elbow with the weapon, Jordan said.

The woman took the bank deposit bag and Hwang's purse before running across the parking lot toward Eighth Avenue. A co-worker, Hyo Shin, chased the woman as Kenny Kang, the company's owner, circled in a truck.

Kang, who called police from a cellular phone, caught the woman and pinned her to the ground until officers arrived, according to police reports.

Police arrested Rachel Lynn Knippel, 20, of the 6600 block of English Oak Road in Baltimore County and charged her with robbery, assault and possession of a deadly weapon. Stun guns are illegal in Maryland, police said.

Hwang, who complained of neck pain, was taken to a local hospital for observation, Jordan said.

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