Two pedestrians killed by vehicles over weekend in Baltimore County

Cindy Feldstein, medical examiner's spokeswoman, struck by bus; hours later, man killed by hit-and-run driver

  • Jason Cheslik
Jason Cheslik (Photo courtesy of James…)
February 14, 2011|By Nick Madigan and Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

Two pedestrians were killed by vehicles in separate accidents over the weekend in Baltimore County, one by a bus and the other by a hit-and-run driver who is being sought by police.

In the first accident, the victim was Cindy Feldstein, who worked as spokeswoman and assistant to the chief medical examiner in Baltimore. She died Saturday afternoon when she crossed Park Heights Avenue and was struck by a Maryland Transit Administration bus.

A few hours later, Jason M. Cheslik, 29, was killed by a van on Hazelwood Avenue, about a mile from his home in Overlea. The van that struck Cheslik sped away and is being sought, police said.

Feldstein, 53, was in a crosswalk near Slade Avenue about 5:30 p.m. when she was hit, police said. She was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore and pronounced dead. The accident is under investigation.

News of Feldstein's death sent reverberations through the coroner's office.

"It's a small agency, a very small staff, so it's absolutely devastating to the staff," the medical examiner, Dr. David R. Fowler, said Monday afternoon. Feldstein had served a number of functions in the medical examiner's office, which she joined around 1994. Her title was secretary and administrative aide, but she also worked as a public information officer, handling inquiries from the news media and the public, and as an office troubleshooter, Fowler said. She also dealt with subpoenas and other official documents.

"There wasn't something that could be handed to her that she couldn't do," Fowler said. "She was just an absolutely wonderful person in dealing with people and had a real sense of caring."

Feldstein was married and had four children, and had recently moved to a house near where the accident took place.

"We deal with death every day, so people think we're immune from some of these issues," Fowler said. "I walked into the office today, and the staff was in tears. What we're feeling, though, is a fraction of what her family must be going through."

Cheslik was killed about 2 a.m. Sunday outside the Hazelwood Inn as he walked between two parked cars and into the eastbound lane of Hazelwood Avenue, according to Lt. Robert McCullough, a spokesman for the Baltimore County police.

After striking Cheslik, the van — police believe it was a Ford Econoline — left the scene, traveling east on Hazelwood Avenue. Cheslik was taken to Franklin Square Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Two women were with him at the time and saw the accident, according to James Patterson, a colleague of Cheslik's at a warehouse and trucking company in Curtis Bay. Cheslik had worked there for about seven years, most recently as a lead foreman, said Patterson, a dispatcher. He said that Cheslik had a 7-year-old daughter and shared custody of her with the girl's mother.

"He was a great father," Patterson said, and "a great friend."

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