Bottle at Howard crash not alcohol, police say

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

February 23, 2006

Howard County police mistakenly identified a bottle found in the wreckage of a single-car accident that killed an Ellicott City teenager Friday as alcohol when it was, in fact, tanning lotion, spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said yesterday.

Llewellyn said that investigators even tagged the Emerald Bay tanning "cocktail" -- which is packaged to look like liquor -- as alcohol in the county's property room. They realized the mistake yesterday.

She said investigators still believe that alcohol, along with speed, was a factor in the crash and that investigators detected an "odor of alcohol" when they approached the metallic gray 2005 Volkswagen Beetle.

Howard police have struggled to release accurate information during their investigation of the crash on Old Frederick Road (Route 99) near Bracken Drive that occurred as the three teenagers tried to reach a Mount Hebron High School dance before school officials closed the doors. On the night of the crash, police released an incorrect name and medical condition for passenger Christopher Missett, 16, who is at home recuperating from a hairline fracture to his jaw.

Michele Iampieri, 18, of Ellicott City died in the crash. She was not wearing a seat belt, police said. Mount Hebron senior Theresa Rayburn, 17, who was driving, was released from Maryland Shock Trauma Center Tuesday evening.

Llewellyn said that charges, if any, would not be filed until blood-alcohol level reports are completed.

Melissa Harris

Anne Arundel: U.S. 50

4 accidents cause tie-up; four are hurt

Four car accidents caused a major traffic tie-up on eastbound U.S. 50 yesterday morning. The first happened just before 9 a.m. near Route 450. State police said the accidents probably were weather-related, and that the first accident led to traffic problems that led to other accidents. One person was taken to Bowie Health Center, and three others were taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center -- all with minor injuries, police said. Traffic was flowing normally by 1 p.m.

Baltimore: Licensing

Man pleads guilty in illegal tire hauling

A 39-year-old Baltimore man has pleaded guilty to transporting scrap tires without a license, the Maryland attorney general's office announced yesterday. Rahman Smothers of the 1800 block of N. Guilford Ave. admitted hauling tires from the Pikesville Automotive Service Center on Reisterstown Road during seven months of 2005, even though his license had been terminated in June 2004, prosecutors said. Under a plea agreement, District Judge George M. Lipman sentenced Smothers to one year of probation and imposed a $5,000 fine, suspending all but $2,000, according to the attorney general's office.

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