ANNAPOLIS/SOUTH COUNTY -- Davidsonville * Edgewater * Shady Side * Deale


Plane crash probe finds broken valve

Federal officials probing Saturday's fatal plane crash in Edgewater have found a broken exhaust valve, but they caution that their investigation is still preliminary, an official with the National Transportation Safety Board said yesterday.

Jeff Guzzetti, an air safety investigator for the NTSB, said he has only begun searching for clues that led to the crash that killed Brian Keith Duffy of Ellicott City.

"The valve is part of the investigation," Mr. Guzzetti said. "I wouldn't say we are concentrating on it."

The engine part must be analyzed by a lab and maintenance logs from International Aviation in Frederick, where the plane was rented, must be reviewed, he said. The investigation could take four months, he said, and nothing, including pilot error, has been ruled out.

The four-seater Piper Cherokee crashed about 3:20 p.m. after the pilot -- who was headed for Ocean City from Frederick -- tried to make an emergency landing at Lee Airport, south of Annapolis, witnesses said. The plane came within five feet of the runway but could not land because of a strong tail wind, they said.

The plane flew around a McDonald's on Solomons Island Road, struck power lines and crashed upside-down in a cornfield, bursting into flames.

One of Mr. Duffy's best friends, 22-year-old Frederickus "Fred" Johnannas Giltay, who was taking his first plane trip, was injured in the crash. His condition was upgraded yesterday from critical to serious at the MedSTAR burn unit at the Washington Hospital Center. He has third-degree burns over 52 percent of his body.

Attempted rape reported in Bay Ridge Gardens

A 22-year-old Annapolis woman reported that a man forced his way into her room and attempted to rape her late Sunday night, police said.

The woman, who lives in Bay Ridge Gardens, told police that a man knocked at the door between 10:15 p.m. and midnight and asked if there was a party.

When she said no, the man pushed his way inside and began touching her, police said.

She resisted and called the police.

SHA plans to pave section of Rowe Blvd.

The State Highway Administration will pave one mile of Rowe Boulevard starting today from the College Creek Bridge to the Weems Creek Bridge.

The work is necessary because of a deteriorating roadway, state highway officials said.

The paving work is planned for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Millersville man shot in front of liquor store

A 34-year-old Millersville man was shot in the leg in front of a liquor store in Annapolis after arguing with three men shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday, city police said.

James O. Murray told police he was driving with two friends on Moreland Parkway when he saw a man he knew. They got into an argument, and he drove off.

A few minutes later, they pulled up in front of Henry's Liquors on West Street, where the same three men were standing outside. One of the men suddenly pulled out a gun and shot Mr. Murray in the leg, police said.

The suspect was described as black, in his early 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds, with a blue sweat shirt and blue pants.

The victim was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Those who help travelers, homeless to be honored

Two Annapolis volunteers of the People Aiding Travelers and the Homeless (PATH) program will be honored at a Thursday luncheon in Baltimore, sponsored by the Maryland Aviation Administration.

The group works at the information desk at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

The Annapolis volunteers are Nettie Coleman and Mike Szabo.

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