Charges are delayed in fatal crash

Estimate is `weeks to months' - family prepares to bury three

May 06, 2004|By Laurie Willis | Laurie Willis,SUN STAFF

As a Baltimore family plans to bury three of its members who died after a car crash Monday night, a spokeswoman for the city state's attorney's office said it could be "weeks to months" before charges are lodged against the driver who police say caused the crash.

Yesterday, Margaret T. Burns, the spokeswoman, could not say whether the driver - who police said was believed to have been under the influence of alcohol - would face homicide charges.

"We need toxicology reports, street measures, diagrams as to how the accident occurred," Burns said.

On Monday, Evelyn Engram, 47, and her granddaughter, Meechea Williams, 4, died after a speeding van crashed into their KIA Sophia parked on Hillen Road near Morgan State University in Northeast Baltimore. The car was nearly sheared in half and was one of seven vehicles struck by the van that night.

Dominick Fowlkes, 8, Engram's great-nephew who was also in the KIA, died late Tuesday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where family members said he had been on a respirator.

Four people who were injured in the crashes, including Leonard Foy, Engram's fiance, were treated at hospitals and released. Police have not identified the driver.

Dominick's death was especially hard on the family, who hoped that he would survive even though he wasn't breathing on his own at the hospital.

The boy and his father, Dominick Fowlkes Sr., 28, lived in the 600 block of E. 36th St., sharing a home with Engram and Meechea.

"He and his father were so close, so I know his father is really, really hurting," said Crystal Byers, 25, the boy's mother. She said Dominick loved basketball and football and playing video games with his younger brother, Montaz Frederick, 4. "He was real good in school. Reading was his favorite subject," Byers said. "He had a lot of books at home. His father made sure he read a lot of books."

The elder Fowlkes said his son played running back and defensive back positions on a recreation football team and was a point guard in basketball. "He never got in trouble. Everybody loved him, his teachers loved him," Fowlkes said. "He was always easy to make friends with. He was a good big brother."

At Montebello Edison Elementary Junior Academy, where Dominick was a second-grader, classmates are trying to cope with the boy's death, said Zelda Holcomb, operations vice president for the Baltimore Edison Schools, which operates three city schools.

"Of course, everybody is just devastated," Holcomb said. "It's so sad and tragic that we'd lose somebody like this, a little angel from all accounts. The little children were crying, and we had our social workers and counselors meet with them."

Montebello second-graders are drawing pictures and making cards for Dominick, Holcomb said. The school is also collecting money for his family, which Holcomb said may be taken to an M&T Bank, where the Engram Family Fund has been established. And later this month, a tree will be planted on school grounds in the boy's memory, Holcomb said.

Funeral services for Engram, Dominick and Meechea will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Bethel AME Church in the 1300 block of Druid Hill Ave. Burial will follow at Parkville Cemetery in Baltimore County.

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