4 injured in Ritchie Highway accident

Out-of-control truck hits car at traffic light

July 30, 2002|By Rona Kobell | Rona Kobell,SUN STAFF

A truck loaded with big-screen television sets struck a car just yards from the Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Company in Severna Park about 3 p.m. yesterday, snarling traffic on Ritchie Highway and sending all four people involved to local hospitals.

Witnesses said the truck, which was driven by Eugene Davis, 30, of Columbia, went out of control on Ritchie Highway near the Magothy Bridge Road intersection.

A few cars that were stopped at a traffic light managed to steer toward the grassy median and get out of the truck's path.

The truck rear-ended a BMW driven by Valerie Gardiner, 46, of Severna Park and sent it airborne.

Gardiner's vehicle slammed into a metal pole before coming to rest in the median. The truck spun out of control and landed upside-down at the edge of a shopping plaza parking lot by the northbound lane of Ritchie Highway.

In minutes, rescue crews from the Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Company arrived and began to free Gardiner and her 14-year-old daughter, Becky, from their vehicle.

Gardiner's car was spewing fuel, but firefighters controlled the spill quickly.

By 3:30 p.m., rescuers had gotten both Gardiners out of the BMW. They were flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where they were in serious but stable condition yesterday afternoon.

Davis was taken to Shock Trauma and was in fair condition yesterday, a hospital spokeswoman said. His passenger, Otts Parker, was taken to North Arundel Hospital complaining of a back injury.

None of the injuries are considered life-threatening, fire officials said. The investigation is continuing.

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