Six die in area traffic accidents Police search for Toyota driver in hit-and-run death.


Six people were killed in traffic accidents over the weekend, including a 16-year-old Towson resident who died of injuries he received when the car he was riding in crashed into a tree last night.

And in the city, police today continue to search for a Toyota involved in a hit-and-run accident in which a pedestrian who was crossing the 6100 block of Harford Road was killed Saturday night.

Last night, Baltimore County said James Lankford, 18, of the first block of Fellowship Court in Towson, was driving a 1992 Chevrolet Camaro at a high rate of speed eastbound in the 2700 block of Taylor Ave. about 8:30 p.m. when he lost control of the car on a curve and struck the curb.

The car skidded for 200 feet before it crashed sideways into a tree at Oak Avenue, police said.

Police said the youth seated in the front passenger seat caught the full impact of the tree and died less than two hours later at Franklin Square Hospital of massive injuries. He was identified as Eric Wallen 3rd, 16, of the first block of Cedar Ave. in Towson.

Police said Wallen was wearing a seat belt but that the force of the impact was too great to survive.

Mr. Lankford was driven by a friend to the emergency room at the University of Maryland Medical Center and was being treated today for injuries, police said. His condition was not known.

Two passengers in the back seat, Nicole Fields, 16, of the 800 block of Fairway Drive in Towson, and Lisa Renz, 16, of the 500 block of Hilltop Drive in Lutherville, also were injured, police said.

Police said Lisa Renz was airlifted to the Maryland Shock-Trauma Center in Baltimore, where she was admitted in serious condition.

Nicole Fields was taken by a friend to the University for treatment of injuries, police said. Her condition was not known.

Police said multiple traffic charges were pending against Mr. Lankford.

In the hit-and-run accident, George Bittner, of the 7900 block of Bon Air in Hillendale in Baltimore County, was crossing the 6100 block of Harford Road shortly after 9 p.m. Friday when he was hit by northbound late-model beige Toyota driven by a woman with brown or sandy-colored hair, police said.

Police said Mr. Bittner, an avid bowler, was leaving the Harford Fair Lanes bowling center when he was hit.

The impact threw Mr. Bittner onto the vehicle's hood and the car continued on for about 100 feet before the driver spun around, causing the victim to fall to the pavement, police said.

The car sped off, heading south on Harford Road. A witness followed the Toyota to Glenmore Avenue, but lost it when it ran a red light and continued south at a high rate of speed, police said.

Mr. Bittner, a sales representative for a business forms company, was taken by ambulance to Francis Scott Key Medical Center, where he died Saturday, police said.

Police said they have received many calls about vehicles suspected of having hit Mr. Bittner but none checked out.

The Toyota's windshield, police said, should be shattered and the car's hood and grille damaged.

Anyone having information about the car or its driver should call the police traffic section at 396-2606.

A second fatal accident in the city claimed the life of Arthur Cole, 28, of the 2800 block of Clifton Ave.

Police said Mr. Cole was driving a 1991 Toyota 4-Runner westbound in the 2200 block of W. North Ave. around 3:30 a.m. Saturday when he lost control of the vehicle. Police said the 4-Runner flipped over several times, causing Mr. Cole, who was not wearing a seat belt, to beejected through the sun roof.

Mr. Cole was taken by ambulance to University, where he died of multiple head injuries three hours later, police said.

In Harford County, excessive speed was blamed for a single car crash on Md. 136 in Churchville that killed two Edgewood teen-agers, state police at Bel Air said.

Chad David Sullivan, 17, of the 600 block of Wayne Leaf Court, was driving a 1985 Chrysler Laser south on Md. 136 shortly before midnight Friday when he lost control of the car on a curve, crossed into the opposite lane and crashed into a utility pole, police said.

A passenger in the car, Kimberly Ann Lester, 15, of the 2300 block of Perry Ave., was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Chad Sullivan was airlifted to Shock-Trauma in Baltimore, where he died of multiple injuries shortly before noon Saturday, police said.

State Police at Pikesville said the fatalities brought to 68 the number of people killed on Maryland roadways so far this year, compared to 65 at the same time last year.

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