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2 hurt as moped strikes cable


Two Essex residents, a 29-year-old man and a 9-year-old boy, today were recovering from injuries received last night when the moped they were riding hit a cable across a driveway at an apartment complex on Fenway North, Baltimore County police said.

Police said Mark Watts, of the first block of Fenway North, was riding his girlfriend's moped with the woman's son on the back shortly after 8 p.m. when he attempted to enter a driveway at the Riverdale Apartments in the first block of Fenway North.

Mr. Watts, who was taken by state police MedEvac helicopter to the Maryland Shock-Trauma Center in Baltimore, was serious but stable condition today. He has multiple upper body injuries.

The boy, David Lee Donaldson of the same Fenway North address, was in good condition today at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Both victims had been admitted in critical condition.

Police said the owner of the apartment complex had erected the cable to prevent vehicles from using the driveway after several fires had been set in trash bins.

Sandy Crowe, property manager, said the complex had been ordered by the state fire marshal's office to erect the cable about a month ago. "We were definitely given a directive," she said. She said there were "No Trespassing" signs at the entrance to the driveway and reflectors on the cable.

"We were having a great deal of difficulty with fires," Ms. Crowe said today. She added that the driveway leads to a private parking area.

Police said when Mr. Watts turned to enter the driveway he failed to see the cable that had been stretched across it. The cable struck the front of the moped and Mr. Watts, police said, causing him and the boy to be thrown from the vehicle.

Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a county police spokesman, said neither victim was wearing a safety helmet. Helmets are not required to be worn on mopeds, he said.

Sergeant Doarnberger could not say how fast the moped was traveling when Mr. Watts hit the cable. He also could not say whether the moped had a headlight, or whether the light was on at the time of the accident.

The accident occurred about 8:10 p.m., or just at sunset.

Sergeant Doarnberger said there was no continuing investigation of the incident.

"We would get involved in it only if the cable was put up specifically to hurt someone," he said.

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