8-year-old girl killed, 3 hurt in Beltway pileup

February 03, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

An 8-year-old Montgomery County girl was killed and three other people, including her father, were injured as crashes involving several passenger vehicles, a Mack truck and two buses returning students from a field trip shut down the Baltimore Beltway's outer loop in Catonsville for several hours yesterday.

The accidents occurred shortly before noon as several motorists, heading south on the Beltway near Southwestern Boulevard, slowed to avoid a disabled vehicle in the right lane, said Trooper John Krysiak of the Golden Ring Barracks.

The first crash occurred when one of the two buses, carrying 33 students on a trip from Baltimore County to Potomac and Washington, struck the rear of the Mack truck.

The driver of the second bus, directly behind it with 47 students, swerved to avoid the crash and struck the rear of a 1993 Honda driven by James C. Harmon, 51, of the 9800 block of Clanford Road, Randallstown, and occupied by his daughter, Lauren, the trooper said.

A Chrysler sport utility vehicle, Ford Crown Victoria and Chevrolet Astro van were caught up in a chain reaction of crashes.

Krysiak said the impact of the bus hitting the Honda drove the car more than 250 feet down the roadway and demolished its rear. Lauren Harmon, riding in the back seat, was dead at the scene. Krysiak said Harmon was taking his daughter to her mother's home in Somerset.

He and two others were treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

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