Tot is hit by truck, dragged to death

Woman arrested in Towson incident

December 02, 2006|By Nick Shields and Julie Scharper | Nick Shields and Julie Scharper,Sun reporters

A toddler who was being pushed in a stroller died yesterday after he was struck by a pickup truck and dragged three-quarters of a mile along Baltimore County roads in an apparent hit-and-run accident, police said.

A woman believed to be the child's grandmother was pushing the stroller across a street near the Loch Raven Plaza shopping center about 3:30 p.m. when a truck struck them and drove on, according to Baltimore County police. The boy was dragged along Loch Raven Boulevard before tumbling free of the truck, police said.

For at least part of that distance, the stroller was also being dragged, police said.

Police later tracked down a woman they believed to be the driver of the vehicle and were expecting to charge her. Police said they were arranging for a Spanish-speaking interpreter to be present for questioning.

The toddler was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital and later died, according to police. Police did not name anyone involved in the incident, but a spokesman said the boy was about 3 years old.

The woman pushing the stroller was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, according to police. They said she was 50 to 60 years old. A Shock Trauma spokeperson said that her condition was stable.

Police said she was pushing the stroller across Goucher Boulevard at Colbury Road. The intersection, between a large shopping center and apartment complexes, is controlled by a traffic light.

A truck traveling toward Loch Raven Boulevard struck them, police said.

Beth Reed, a manager at Movie Time Video and mother of a 3-year-old girl, said she happened to look out the window of the store at the moment the toddler was struck.

"I couldn't believe it," she said. "I think it's horrible. If I were in that situation, I probably would have stopped. I wouldn't have left."

She said customers who saw the incident immediately called 911. One customer rushed to his car and gave chase, she said.

Reed said that many vehicles exceed the 35-mph speed limit along the stretch as drivers rush to beat the traffic signal.

After being struck, the stroller apparently became lodged under the truck. The boy was dragged to Regester Avenue, just west of that road's intersection with Loch Raven Boulevard. The stretch of Loch Raven Boulevard between the shopping center and Regester Avenue is a divided road, with two lanes in each direction and a speed limit of 40 mph.

A witness apparently provided police with a license tag number, and investigators went to the 500 block of Castle Drive, to the Drumcastle Apartments in the Anneslie neighborhood near the city-county line, said county police spokesman Cpl. Michael Hill.

The truck believed to have been involved in the accident was found near there, and the woman suspected to have been driving the truck was arrested, Hill said.

He said that woman would be charged in the incident. He said police were also questioning another woman who is believed to have been in the vehicle.

One resident of the Drumcas-tle Apartments said she saw the truck arrive at the complex, apparently just after the incident.

"She pulled into the parking lot like normal, like anyone coming home from work," said Crisol Arce, adding that the woman believed to be the driver is the mother of two boys.

Neighbors said they saw police inspecting the underside of a large red pickup truck with an extended cab and bed.

They said police towed the vehicle away.

Alcohol was not believed to have been a factor in the accident, said Hill, the police spokesman.

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