Girl, 6, injured in crash that killed family, improves

February 21, 2002|By Stephanie Desmon | Stephanie Desmon,SUN STAFF

Six-year-old Margaret Abbott, the Baltimore County girl who survived a weekend crash that killed the rest of her family, is improving in a Delaware hospital.

"She finally opened her eyes," her grandfather, Charles Schwarz, said yesterday. "We have been just overwhelmed with the prayers of people. ... Obviously her recovery is just an answer to prayers -- no ifs, ands or buts."

Margaret's breathing tube was expected to be taken out yesterday, and Schwarz said he knows her first questions will be about her family. She will have to hear that her parents, Wayne and Emily Abbott, and her brothers Douglas, 9, and Brian, 5, died Sunday when their van was struck by a car trying to change lanes on a road near Dover, Del. The family, who lived in Freeland near the Pennsylvania line, was headed to Fenwick Island, Del.

Margaret, known as Meg, has been in Christiana Hospital in Stanton, where her condition has been upgraded to serious. She may soon be transferred to another Delaware hospital for rehabilitation, her grandfather said.

Wayne and Emily Abbott had discussed what would happen to the children should anything happen to them. As they wished, Meg will live with Bruce Schwarz, Emily Abbott's brother and a Baltimore County firefighter and father of three, Charles Schwarz said.

Relatives have completed funeral arrangements. The viewing will be 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Valley Presbyterian Church, 2200 W. Joppa Road, Lutherville, where Wayne Abbott was an elder and Emily Abbott was the choral director.

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