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Traffic accident ends birthday celebration as father, 55, is killed


A father-and-son birthday outing ended in tragedy Saturday when the 32-year-old son allegedly drove his pickup truck through a stop sign and collided with a car, Baltimore city police reported.

The father, William E. Petty Jr., of the 400 block of N. Robinson St., who was celebrating his 55th birthday, was pronounced dead at Johns Hopkins Hospital shortly after the 1:40 a.m. accident, at Foster and Luzerne avenues in Southeast Baltimore.

Police said both drivers had been drinking and charges were pending.

Officer Tony Petralia, a traffic investigator, said the son, William Petty 3rd, 32, of the 400 block of N. Curley St., was northbound on Luzerne when his truck was struck on the passenger side by a 1980 Datsun 280ZX heading west on Foster, apparently at a high speed.

The younger Petty was released after treatment at Church Hospital; the other driver, Barbara Klingensmith, 34, of Crownsville, was released after treatment at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Officer Petralia said the accident occurred after the Pettys had celebrated the father's birthday by drinking and watching the Holmes-Holyfield heavyweight championship fight at a bar.

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