City woman killed in 3-car crash

TV news reporter Gelfman and his wife are injured

July 16, 2002|By Jason Song | Jason Song,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore woman died, and a Howard County judge and her husband, a television news reporter, were hospitalized after a three-car accident Sunday night on Route 108, Howard County police said yesterday.

Howard Circuit Judge Lenore R. Gelfman and her husband, Richard David Dick Gelfman, a consumer affairs reporter for WJZ-TV, were traveling west on Route 108 near Ten Mills Road in their 1999 Ford Explorer about 10:10 p.m. when an eastbound 1989 Ford Tempo crossed into their lane and struck them head-on, police said.

The Tempo, driven by Tiffani Rose Wibery, 18, of the 3900 block of Labyrinth Road in Baltimore, then collided with a Honda Accord.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in some editions of Tuesday's Sun about a fatal three-car accident in Howard County misspelled the last name of Tiffani Rose Wiberg.

Howard County police are investigating. They said yesterday that they did not know why Wibery crossed into the westbound lane. They are also unsure how fast the cars were going or if alcohol or drugs were factors.

The Gelfmans vehicle caught fire, but Lenore Gelfman managed to get out of the Explorer, said Doug Taury, who lives close to the accident site in the 9800 block of Route 108.

But it was apparent that Richard Gelfman was in pain and couldnt move himself, said Taury. The drivers-side door was so damaged that he and others had to pull Richard Gelfman over the center console shortly before the car was engulfed in flames, Taury said.

While residents wanted to help Wibery, who was still conscious shortly after the crash, the car was so badly mangled, there wasnt anything we could do for her but wait for the Fire Department to get there, Taury said.

Wibery was removed from her car by rescue personnel several minutes later, according to police.

Wibery and the Gelfmans were flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where Wibery was pronounced dead. An autopsy will be performed, hospital officials said.

WJZ reported that Richard Gelfman had surgery yesterday morning to repair a broken leg and that Lenore Gelfman had sustained less serious injuries. She was in fair condition last night, while he was in serious but stable condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

The driver of the Accord was not hurt in the crash, police said. He was not identified.

Wibery was traveling home after visiting her boyfriend, who lives in Howard County, said Wiberys cousin Barbara Burger in a telephone interview. Burger described Wibery as a careful driver.

Gelfman, who has been with WJZ for 10 years, appears on the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. telecasts almost daily. WJZ officials said they have not made any plans to fill Gelfmans time slot while he recovers.

Our first thought is for Dick and Lenore and to make sure they were getting quality attention, said Jay Newman, vice president and general manager of WJZ.

Judge Gelfman was scheduled to hear civil cases yesterday morning, but all of the cases were settled by the parties, so her absence did not interrupt court activity. Her chambers were flooded with calls from well-wishers and lawyers.

Howard County Court officials have not made a plans to fill in for Gelfman because we dont have enough information yet, said John Shatto, the court administrator.

Sun staff writer Lisa Goldberg contributed to this article.

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