Ex-ups Driver Charged In Editor's Death

December 22, 2009|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,michael.dresser@baltsun.com

A former United Parcel Service truck driver has been charged with three traffic violations in an Oct. 5 crash that killed Baltimore Sun business editor Tim Wheatley and severely injured his 9-year-old daughter, Baltimore County police said Monday.

Kevin P. Callahan was charged last week with negligent driving, failure to stop at a red signal and failure to obey a traffic device after a two-month investigation of the crash at York and Corbett roads in Monkton. The filing of traffic charges indicates the police found the driver at fault but did not uncover evidence sufficient to justify more serious counts.

Wheatley, 48, was killed instantly when he was hit broadside by the UPS truck as he was taking his daughter to school. Sarah Wheatley survived with extensive head injuries. After the crash, authorities determined that the traffic signal at the intersection was working properly and that one of the drivers must have run a red light.

Susan Rosenberg, a spokeswoman for UPS, said Callahan, 28, was placed on suspension immediately after the crash and fired by the delivery company last month after a three-week internal investigation determined that he was at fault.

"It was what we in UPS lexicon call 'avoidable,' " she said. Rosenberg could not provide details of the company investigation. She said the crash was "very much an exception" to the company's overall safety record.

Callahan is not required to appear in court on the charges. The fine for negligent driving that results in an accident, if a defendant were to plead guilty without appearing, is $280 and three points on the driver's record. The penalty on each of the other two charges, when they contribute to an accident, is $130 and three points.

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