Minivan crashes, killing 2 children

Vehicle hits guardrail, rolls on I-95 in Elkridge, injuring six others

Driver may have fallen asleep

April 09, 2002|By Julie Bykowicz and Laura Cadiz | Julie Bykowicz and Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF

Two 7-year-old children were killed and six people were injured early yesterday after the Richmond, Va.-bound minivan they were traveling in struck a guardrail on Interstate 95 near Elkridge and flipped over several times, Maryland State Police said.

Shaday Idlet, who police said was one of three children thrown from the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. Alexander Roberts was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was pronounced dead later yesterday morning.

The driver, Tina M. Idlet, 35, was in fair condition, and front-seat passenger Melissa M. Roberts, 25, was in serious but stable condition at Shock Trauma, a hospital spokeswoman said.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in Tuesday's Maryland section about an Interstate 95 minivan crash incorrectly reported where two children involved were being treated. Alexander Roberts, 7, and Gabriella Valentino, 4, both of Richmond, Va., were initially taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. They were quickly transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the University of Maryland Hospital for Children, where Alexander was pronounced dead.
The Sun regrets the error.

Lisa Kelly-Idlet, 2, was in good condition and Pauline Kelly-Idlet, 10, was in serious condition at Johns Hopkins Hospital, a Hopkins spokeswoman said. Both of the girls were sitting on the minivan's second bench seat with Shaday and Alexander, according to police.

Eighteen-month-old Andrew Roberts - who police said was in a child-safety seat on the first bench seat - was discharged from St. Agnes HealthCare yesterday afternoon, a spokesman said.

Gabriella Valentino, 4, was listed in critical condition yesterday at Shock Trauma. She was sitting next to Andrew on the first bench seat, police said, and might have taken off her seat belt to lie down because she was not feeling well.

Police said that the children are relatives of either Tina Idlet or Melissa Roberts.

Maj. Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman, said it is possible that Idlet fell asleep while driving home after a visit with friends in New York City.

About 2:30 a.m., the 2000 Dodge Caravan veered off the right side of southbound I-95 south of Route 100 and struck a guardrail, police said.

The minivan then swerved to the left side of the road, overturning several times in the median before coming to rest in the slow lane of northbound I-95, police said.

Shaday Idlet, who was ejected from the vehicle, was found on the northbound shoulder by the guardrail, police said.

It is unclear how many of the children were secured by seat belts or child-safety seats, police said.

Alexander was not thrown from the vehicle, they said, and it was unclear which other children were ejected.

"It appears to be unlikely that the ones ejected were restrained," Shipley said.

Police said alcohol was not a factor in the crash and are continuing an investigation into the accident.

According to police, traffic moved past the accident scene in one lane of I-95 until all the northbound lanes reopened about 5:45 a.m.

Sun staff writer Laura Barnhardt contributed to this article.

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