Fire official, wife injured in car crash

Howard County Fire and Rescue Services Director Darl R. McBride and his wife, Emma Jane, were involved in a head-on collision Saturday when an Acura collided with their fire department car on Gorman Road.

Chief McBride, 55, received minor bumps and bruises, and was not hospitalized, said Sgt. Gary L. Gardner, spokesman for the county police department. He returned to work this week.

Mrs. McBride was taken by ambulance to Howard County General Hospital, where she is in stable condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

John Daniel Carstens, 29, of Greensboro, N.C., was charged with failure to drive to the right of center, traveling at a speed greater than reasonable and negligent driving, Sgt. Gardner said.

The collision occurred about 10:15 p.m. as the McBrides were westbound on Gorman Road near Murray Hill Road.

Mr. Carstens, eastbound in a 1992 Acura, failed to negotiate a curve, crossed the center line and struck the McBride car head-on. A Toyota truck, also eastbound, was unable to stop and skidded into the Acura, Sergeant Gardner said. Mr. Carstens and his 9-month-old son, John D. Carstens III, were uninjured.

The occupants of the Toyota, Alex Pascal Marting, 17, of the 9300 block of Gentle Folk Way, and Lita M. Baumann, 15, of the 7300 block of Hickory Log Circle, were not injured, Sergeant Gardner said.

Ecker to head panel on government staff

County Executive Charles I. Ecker has been appointed chairman of a subcommittee that will study governmental personnel issues for the National Association of Counties.

Mr. Ecker will head the pension and employee benefits subcommittee of the association's Labor and Employee Benefits Committee. He became a member of the larger committee last year and was named subcommittee chairman late last month. The subcommittee will focus on health care delivery services.

Mr. Ecker will develop information on pending federal legislation. The subcommittee will meet two to four times a year and is expected to make recommendations at the association's annual meeting in Washington next March.

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