911 tape sheds little light on fatal firetruck crash in city

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

December 12, 2007

A 911 tape released yesterday provided few clues as to what happened in a fatal firetruck accident Sunday morning in Northwest Baltimore.

"Engine 29 urgent," says a firefighter's voice on the tape. "Truck 27's been involved in a serious accident. We have a rescue at the intersection of Clarks and Park Heights Avenue. Dispatch another engine on the assignment and pull me out of service on that call."

Later in the tape, a man says, "I've got two people trapped at the intersection with me at Clarks and Park Heights Avenue with a rescue squad up the street available."

City officials released the four-minute 15-second tape from the accident that killed three civilians yesterday but declined to release any other information.

City fire and police officials reconstructed the accident that occurred at Clarks Lane and Park Heights Avenue.

City officials continued yesterday to refuse to identify the four firefighters involved in the accident.

Truck 27 was coming from the Engine Company 45 station house, in the 2700 block of Glen Ave., about 3 a.m. Sunday, responding to a report of smoke in the hallway of a house. The truck struck a sport utility vehicle, killing Mikhail Petrov, 35; his wife, Iryna Petrov, 49; and their friend Igor Saub, 24.

The Baltimore Police Department is investigating the accident to determine whether the driver of the firetruck or Iryna Petrov, who was driving the SUV, failed to stop at a red light.

If authorities determine the firetruck failed to stop at the signal, the case would be referred to a city prosecutor.

Natalia Fonti, a friend of the Petrovs, said friends and relatives set up a fund for people to donate to help defray the costs of the funerals.

People who wish to donate can do so at any Bank of America branch by leaving money for the Mikhail & Iryna Petrov & Igor Saub Fund.

Sumathi Reddy

Baltimore

: Probation

Man gets 28 years for violation

Two years ago, Bruce L. Smith struck what seemed to be an incredible deal with Baltimore prosecutors: He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder and was sentenced to time served.

Prosecutor Wesley Adams said he was forced to make the deal because witnesses to the crimes had changed their stories. But there was a catch for Smith: Circuit Judge Sylvester Cox saddled him with a 28-year suspended term should he violate his probation.

Last week, Smith, 28, admitted in a court hearing that he violated probation by possessing drugs and a handgun, when the police pulled over his car in April.

Upon learning of the new charges, Adams pushed for a probation violation hearing even before the drug and handgun case went to trial. An article in The Sun this month documented how city prosecutors are using these probation violation proceedings more frequently in cases in which the defendants are acquitted or charges are dropped.

When Smith pleaded guilty on Friday to the new charges and to violating his probation, Cox sentenced him to all 28 years that had been suspended the last time Smith was in his courtroom.

Julie Bykowicz

Crash

Man pronounced dead after accident

An man was pronounced dead yesterday after his truck veered into another vehicle on an East Baltimore street and came to rest against a building at an auto-repair shop, city police reported.

A medical condition might have contributed to the crash. Police did not immediately release the man's name pending notification of next of kin. Investigators were awaiting results of an autopsy that might explain why the man lost control of the vehicle.

Police said the accident occurred shortly before 7:30 a.m. in the 4800 block of Erdman Ave. The man was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

A police spokesman said damage to the man's truck, the other vehicle and the building would not have been severe enough to cause fatal injuries.

Harford County

: Federal court

Ex-firefighter gets 5 years for porn

A former Baltimore firefighter was sentenced yesterday to five years in federal prison for distributing child pornography on his home computer, according to the Maryland U.S. attorney's office.

The Joppa home of Angelo Sudano was searched Jan. 3 after a complaint was received by the Harford County Sheriff's Office from someone who had received a video of child pornography, according to federal prosecutors. The search found 300 to 600 images of child pornography. Sudano resigned from the Baltimore Fire Department soon after the search.

Sudano began his career as a city firefighter in 1998, and a Fire Department spokesman has previously said that a search of the computer Sudano used at a firehouse did not reveal any pornography. He pleaded guilty to the distribution charge in August.

In addition to the five-year prison term, U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. sentenced Sudano to a lifetime of supervised release.

Anne Arundel

: Crofton

Gambrills man, 87, dies in truck crash

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