City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

July 24, 2008

Police seek cause of fatal I-83 accident

It will probably take weeks to determine what caused the car crash that killed a 25-year-old man and his 2-month-old son on Interstate 83 early Tuesday, a Maryland State Police spokesman said yesterday.

Ronnel S. Offer of Galesville was killed after the disabled car from which he was trying to remove his infant son was rear-ended. The boy, Tyler M. Offer of Harrisburg, Pa., died at Sinai Hospital not long after the 3 a.m. accident, which occurred on northbound I-83 between Shawan and Belfast roads in northern Baltimore County.

The father and son were passengers in a car driven by the boy's mother, Erika L. Braun, 19, of Harrisburg. Police said she lost control of her 2001 Mazda 626, which struck the left guardrail and ended up in the right lane of the highway on the downward crest of a hill.

As Ronnel Offer leaned into the car to unstrap his son from his car seat, the Mazda was hit by a 2007 Toyota Prius, police said.

"The crash team is doing an investigation," Sgt. Arthur Betts said yesterday. "That won't be wrapped up for at least a few weeks. Then the cause of the crash will be released."

Two passengers in the Mazda were treated Tuesday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center and released. Braun was taken to Sinai, where she refused treatment.

The driver of the Prius, Joe Y. Nimely, 42, of York, Pa., was treated at Shock Trauma and released. His wife, Celia S. Nimely, 34, a passenger in the Prius, was in fair condition last night at Shock Trauma.

Baltimore

Jones Falls

Woman pulled from water dies

A Baltimore woman died yesterday afternoon after she jumped into the Jones Falls north of Druid Hill Park, a city Fire Department spokesman said.

Janet Lochner, 46, who lived in the 3800 block of Falls Road, was walking on a footbridge over the river about 1:30 p.m. when her fiance decided to jump into the water to go swimming, authorities said.

The fiance, whom police did not identify, went into the water first, and Lochner followed. She initially surfaced, but then went under again, said Officer Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman. Several minutes later, she resurfaced but was about 15 to 20 yards away from a waterfall, Monroe said.

Bystanders called 911, and a Fire Department dive rescue team was directed to the 2800 block of Falls Road, said Chief Kevin Cartwright, a Fire Department spokesman. Fire Lt. Timothy J. Biermann pulled the woman out of the water, Cartwright said.

Lochner was unconscious and in cardiac arrest when she was taken from the water, Cartwright said. Paramedics took her to Union Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead about 2:15 p.m.

Annie Linskey

West side

Man, 69, sought after leaving group home

Police are looking for a 69-year-old man who disappeared from a group home in West Baltimore early yesterday.

Authorities said Willard Leo Sharp suffers from dementia, has a scar on his left leg and was last seen wearing a blue sweater and tan pants.

He was reported missing about 2:30 a.m. from the home in the 4000 block of Cranston Ave. He has left the home in the past, police said. He used to live in the first block of Payson St., and police said they believe he might be in that area.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Police Department's missing-persons unit at 443-984-7385.

Annie Linskey

Howard County

Patapsco state park

Body found in river has been identified

The body found in the Patapsco River near Ellicott City on Sunday has been identified as Margarito R. Yglecias of Silver Spring, police said yesterday.

The preliminary determination of cause of death is accidental drowning, said Sgt. Kenneth B. Turner, of the Maryland Natural Resources Police. Yglecias, 52, was found in the stretch of the river that runs through Patapsco Valley State Park.

A hiker discovered the body in an area below Bloede's Dam, between Baltimore and Howard counties. No swimming is allowed in that area, Turner said.

Larry Carson

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