After a fatal car crash, a family waits and hopes

Infant who survived 39-foot fall fights for life

July 12, 2002|By Jay Parsons | Jay Parsons,SUN STAFF

Anthony Poole is hoping for a miracle.

His 1-month-old grandson, Zyier Poole, plummeted from an elevated portion of Interstate 95 into a 3-by-3-foot steel trash bin 39 feet below when the car Zyier was riding in crashed into a concrete barrier Sunday afternoon near the Moravia Road exit.

Another infant, 9-month-old Kiara K. Eatman, was thrown from the car and killed.

Now, Poole is praying that Zyier will recover from his critical injuries, and that his family can raise enough money to pay hospital bills for Zyier and others who were injured as well as funeral expenses for Kiara.

"We're going through a lot of emotions and stress right now," Poole said Tuesday.

Along with Zyier and Kiara, three adults were in the Ford Focus that crashed.

Kiara's mother, Jamilla Jackson, 22, who was sitting with the infants in the back seat, is in critical condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Zyier's mother, Patrice Poole, 19, of Patterson, N.J., who was riding in the front passenger seat, was released from Shock Trauma on Sunday, a hospital spokeswoman said. The driver, her cousin, Tynisha E. Poole, 29, of New York, was released.

"They're very traumatized," Anthony Poole said. "It was a horrific scene for them to see."

Police say another car, a 2000 Honda Civic, may have played a role in the accident but did not say whether it struck the Ford. Investigators declined to identify the driver of the Honda, a woman who said she was "shaken up" and was taken to Franklin Square Hospital Center. She was not injured, police said.

Neither infant was properly restrained in the car, said Cpl. Gregory Prioleau, Maryland Transportation Authority police spokesman. A child carrier was in the car but was not attached to a seat, police said.

Anthony Poole said the family's grief has been made worse because they believe that police statements have blamed Tynisha Poole for the accident.

Police are investigating the crash and have declined to comment on its cause until a report is released in several weeks, Prioleau said.

The passengers of the car say that it was hit, Poole said.

Since the accident, Poole and his wife, Michelle, have split time visiting Zyier, who is listed in critical condition at the pediatric trauma unit of Johns Hopkins Children's Center, and Jackson at Shock Trauma.

Zyier landed on a small piece of cardboard covering several pieces of plywood inside a trash bin, owned by Grasmick Lumber Co.

"It looks like the cardboard cushioned his fall," Grasmick Lumber President Grant I. Grasmick said. "It's one in a million a child could survive a fall from 39 feet. If he hit one of the edges, there's no way he'd survive."

Grasmick said that a lumber yard worker later found Zyier's pacifier in the trash bin.

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