Driver of speeding car flees scene of fatal crash with motor scooter

Police say BMW clocked at 70 mph on Liberty Rd.

July 23, 2002|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County police were searching late last night for the driver of a speeding BMW who fatally struck a man riding a motor scooter on Liberty Road in Milford Mill.

The driver abandoned the car and fled on foot after the accident, which occurred about 8 p.m. at Liberty Road and Washington Avenue -- seconds after police radar had clocked the BMW traveling 70 mph, 30 above the posted limit, authorities said.

Officers attempted to follow the westbound BMW from the radar detail set up at Liberty and Essex roads but lost sight of it before the crash. Seconds later, officers came upon the crash scene, where a young man riding a Vespa motor scooter had been thrown more than 120 feet by the impact and was lying dead in front of a house in the 7900 block of Liberty Road.

With most of the scooter lodged in its undercarriage, the BMW continued west on Liberty Road, striking a fire hydrant and two road signs -- one of which read "Safety Belts Buckled?" -- before coming to a stop.

Witnesses told police that the driver then fled on foot between houses in the 7900 block of Liberty in front of the Dunhill Village Apartments.

The victim's identity was not immediately available.

At the point of impact, all that remained were shattered pieces of the scooter, the man's helmet and a shoe. Scooter debris also littered the 7900 block of Liberty Road.

Police said the Vespa driver was entering the intersection on a green light when he was struck.

Sonyia Brown, 40, of Northwest Baltimore said she was stopped at the intersection when she heard "a terrible explosion" and saw debris from the scooter flying in the air.

About six seconds after the explosion, a police car arrived at the scene, she said.

Traffic was detoured from the scene for more than two hours as police investigated.

It was not known last night if the BMW driver was hurt, but police alerted hospitals to watch for anyone seeking treatment for traffic-related injuries.

Sun staff writer Johnathon Briggs contributed to this article.

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