Family mourns its losses from crash

Woman, granddaughter, 4, recalled as `inseparable

' boy, 8, dies at Hopkins

May 05, 2004|By Laurie Willis | Laurie Willis,SUN STAFF

Family members say Evelyn "Ale" Engram, 48, and her granddaughter, Meechea Williams, 4, were always together.

Williams had taken care of Meechea since birth, and when the girl turned 4 on Sunday, Williams was at her birthday party at a Towson skating rink.

On Monday night, Engram and her granddaughter died after a speeding van crashed into their car parked on Hillen Road in Northeast Baltimore.

Last night, Engram's 8-year-old great-nephew Dominick Fowlkes, who was with them in the car, died at Johns Hopkins Hospital's pediatric intensive care unit.

The death of Dominick, a second-grader at Montebello Elementary School, was reported about 11 o'clock last night by city police. Family members said earlier that he was on a respirator to keep him breathing.

Their car - one of seven vehicles struck by the van - was nearly sheared in half.

Five other people were hurt in the crashes. Police said the van's injured driver was believed to have been under the influence of alcohol, but no charges had been lodged.

"Authorities are awaiting toxicology reports and must consult with the state's attorney's office on charges," said Agent Donny Moses, a city police spokesman.

As authorities investigated the incident yesterday afternoon, family members were fondly remembering the bond between Engram and Meechea.

"They were inseparable," Shandy Lovett said. "Pretty much, when you saw one, you saw the other. Wherever Ale went, Meechea went with her."

Engram, Meechea, Dominick and Leonard Fox, 40, were in a Kia Sophia Monday about 10 p.m. when it was struck by the van.

Fox, Engram's fiance, was treated at an area hospital and released.

The incident began when a van speeding south on Perring Parkway near Belvedere Avenue sideswiped two other southbound vehicles, police said.

The van continued south to where Perring merges with Hillen Road near Morgan State University and struck the sides of five cars parked in the 4800 block of Hillen.

The cars were occupied by people waiting to pick up students after night classes at Morgan, authorities said.

Police also have not released the names of three other people who were injured in the accident, but Moses said all three were treated at area hospitals for minor injuries and released.

Engram's family members said they hope the driver will be punished.

"The justice system doesn't take drunk driving as seriously as it takes people who sell drugs, but they both take lives," Anthon Beck, 28, a cousin of Meechea, said yesterday while sitting on Engram's porch. "It doesn't affect just us; drunk driving affects the whole nation."

As Beck and Lovett talked about their loss, a steady stream of visitors stopped by the house in the 600 block of E. 36th St. in Waverly, bringing food and sympathy cards.

"There wasn't nothing that you couldn't share with her or tell her or nothing that she wouldn't do for you," Lovett said of Engram, a licensed practical nurse who worked at the Woodbourne Center.

"She was always planning things, trips to area amusement parks and other outings. She loved Six Flags, and she always took the kids."

Lovett, a nursing assistant who said she became involved in the work because of Engram, said her friend enjoyed taking care of people and had developed a strong interest in her son, Gary Carter, 15.

"I don't know if it was because he was hearing-impaired or what it was, but they shared something special," Lovett said.

Meechea, relatives said, was a typical child. "She was full of life," Lovett said. "Just having her in your presence, you'd smile just to see her."

Beck said Meechea was protective of her 3-month-old brother, Malik Williams.

"She didn't even want me to hold him," he said, laughing. "That's all she talked about was her little brother."

Lovett said Meechea was all smiles at her birthday party Sunday, attended by family and friends.

"She got a lot of gifts, but the hamster was the one she really adored," Lovett said. "She showed it to everybody who came to the house."

Funeral arrangements were incomplete yesterday. "Pretty much we're still in shock," Lovett said last night.

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