Crofton boy, 12, killed during game in which truck towed his toy cart

August 13, 2002|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

A 12-year-old Crofton boy was killed in a bizarre accident yesterday afternoon when his toy cart, being towed by his brother in a pickup truck, struck a curb at 30 mph, sending the boy head-first into a tree.

Killed in the accident was Andrew Thomas Gawthrop of the 2600 block of Waltham Court. The driver of the pickup, his older brother, Mitchell Bennett Gawthrop, 16, was not harmed, according to Anne Arundel County police.

About 3:30 p.m. yesterday, the brothers and two friends were playing a game in which Mitchell, who was driving his father's 2001 Ford truck, used a 15-foot rope to tow Andrew, seated on a toy called "The Oscar Mayer Weinermobile," along the street.

According to police, Andrew let go of the rope, lost control of the cart and slammed into a curb on Walden Drive near the intersection of Tallwind Court.

The victim, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown from the toy cart into a young sapling tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene, said Sgt. William Krampf of the county Police Department.

As of late yesterday, police were investigating the accident. No charges had been filed against Mitchell, who neighbors said is a student at Arundel High School. He has a provisional driver's license, police said.

Once police finish their investigation, the case will be turned over to the county state's attorney's office, Krampf said.

Two passengers in the truck -- Gabriela Alanna Archibold and Matthew Eric Jensen, both 16 and Crofton residents -- were not hurt.

At the accident scene last night, a small group of women and children gathered to look at police markers that detailed the neighborhood tragedy in bright blue spray paint. A spray paint circle on the sidewalk held the outline of a shoe.

Across the street, at the Gawthrops' house, the garage door was open, but no one was home.

A neighbor said that Andrew -- who was called Drew by his classmates at Crofton Middle School -- looked up to his older sibling and that the two played together often.

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