State Digest

STATE DIGEST

July 11, 2006

Mix-up described in deaths at motel

Paramedics called to a Maryland beach motel after guests complained of nausea and headaches never checked a room where a man and his daughter lay dying of carbon monoxide poisoning, officials said yesterday.

Ocean City emergency services director Joe Theobald said two ambulances responded to Room 125 of the Days Inn Oceanfront on June 27 after receiving a 911 call at 9:27 a.m. regarding two people suffering from nausea, headaches and difficulty breathing. Upon arriving at the motel, paramedics were told that two other people in Room 127, relatives of those staying in Room 125, were also having problems.

Paramedics from a third ambulance responded to another 911 call from Room 121 regarding possible food poisoning involving four people. Upon arriving, however, the third unit was directed to assist the four people from Rooms 125 and 127.

Theobald said Room 121 was never checked because paramedics thought they had the four ill people in their care and apparently were unaware that four others needed help. "It was a very fluid scene," Theobald said in a telephone interview.

"They were dispatched appropriately; they responded appropriately," he said. "It's unfortunate that communication that took place at the scene clouded the issue."

Patrick Boughter, 40, of Lebanon, Pa., and his 10-year-old daughter, Kelly, were found dead hours later.

Yvonne Boughter, who survived incident with her daughter Morgan, 8, said news of the communication mix-up was "disheartening."

"I feel making assumptions like that is just asking for trouble," she said. "I'm a nurse. The first thing you learn is that you never assume anything, and had that assumption not been made that they had everybody, my whole family might be here today."

Yvonne and Morgan Boughter were treated at Atlantic General Hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning, which officials have traced to a disconnected water heater pipe in the basement of the motel.

Theobald said emergency response officials have changed their dispatch policy to ensure that field personnel acknowledge specific dispatch locations and that information is confirmed by the dispatchers.

"I think several parties are to blame. ... I'm just very angry right now. ... We were a typical American family trying to go on a little vacation," Yvonne Boughter said.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Allegany County

Frostburg pharmacist charged with distributing OxyContin

A pharmacist has been charged with attempting to trade OxyContin and other prescription painkillers for sex, police said.

Thomas G. Bolt, 53, of LaVale, owner of the Medicine Shoppe in Frostburg, was free on $25,000 unsecured bond after his arrest Thursday at a Grantsville hotel. Bolt is charged with giving OxyContin to an undercover female state police trooper and another woman at the hotel, Maryland State Police Lt. James Pyles said.

Bolt couldn't be reached for comment yesterday. A residential telephone listing for T. Bolt in Allegany County has been disconnected.

Police said the arrest capped a two-month investigation.

Bolt was charged with distribution of Oxycontin and possession with intent to distribute OxyContin, Oxycodone and Percocet.

ASSOC IATED PRESS

Senate campaign

Photos of Steele with Democrats on Web site will come down

Recent visitors to Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's senatorial campaign Web site might have wondered whether they were in the right spot. Prominently featured in six rotating photographs on the home page was a picture of the Republican lieutenant governor and Democratic Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, both smiling broadly with Hoyer's hand resting on Steele's shoulder.

Democrats say there is a good reason Steele is featuring Democratic officials instead of Republicans on his Web site: to distance himself from President Bush.

"Michael Steele cannot be elected as a Bush Republican, which he is, and he's going out of his way to paint himself as a Democrat," Artie Harris, spokesman for the Maryland Democratic Party, said yesterday.

Doug Heye, communications director for the Steele campaign, said including photographs of Democrats on the Web site reflects the lieutenant governor's commitment "to building bridges, working with people of both parties to accomplish important goals for Marylanders."

Hoyer promptly asked that the photograph be removed, and Heye said yesterday that it would be taken down and replaced with a photograph of Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, "which we think is more than a fair trade."

Maryland Democratic Party Chairman Terry Lierman said Democrats have created a Web site for Steele that will post photos the Republican candidate is not putting on his own Web site. The first and only picture posted yesterday was of Steele and Bush, but Lierman said other photographs will follow of big-name Republicans such as Vice President Dick Cheney and presidential adviser Karl Rove so that Marylanders know who really is supporting Steele's Senate campaign.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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