Man dies after a rock is thrown into his truck


A Deale man died Monday night near Tracys Landing when someone hurled a baseball-sized rock through the windshield of his truck, causing the truck to crash and overturn, Anne Arundel County police said yesterday.

Kevin Michael Gallagher, 38, of the 5900 block of Sneed Drive was pronounced dead at the scene on Route 258 about one mile east of Solomons Island Road.

The rock went through the lower left side of the windshield. Police said they were not sure if it hit Mr. Gallagher. Southern District Officer Darren George found the victim about 9:30 p.m., trapped in his truck and bleeding from the nose and mouth. About 30 seconds after the patrolman discovered him, Mr. Gallagher stopped breathing, police said.

Officer George discovered Mr. Gallagher when he was preparing to stop a speeding car on Route 258 and something hit his own vehicle. He pulled over to the side of the road to look at his car, and saw Mr. Gallagher's Dodge Dakota in the woods where it had crashed.

Officer George, two other officers and Charles Clayton Carter, 51, a civilian from Farmville, N.C., tried unsuccessfully to pull Mr. Gallagher from the truck. He was freed from the truck by firefighters and pronounced dead at 10:10 p.m. by paramedics.

The incident was the most serious of a number of similar ones in the area that evening. Five other people -- including the county medical examiner -- reported that rocks were thrown at their vehicles.

Dr. William Patrick Jones, the medical examiner, said a rock hit the right front headlight of his truck and shattered into fragments that also damaged the windshield. "It was thrown a fair distance," he said.

Dr. Jones -- who lives in Davidsonville -- was driving his 1992 Ford Explorer north on Muddy Creek Road around 9:10 p.m. about a quarter mile south of Md. Route 255 when his car was struck. He said he saw no other vehicles or people in the area after the rock hit his truck.

Page C. Nichols, of Kaneohe, Hawaii, was driving a 1987 Dodge Shadow when someone heaved an object from an approaching vehicle and struck the hood of the car.

"(The dent) in our hood is quite large," said Ms. Nichols' mother, Phyllis Becker of Churchton. "It looks like a cinder block hit it."

Ms. Nichols' brother Patrick Becker, 24, and his girlfriend, Cristina Garrison, 25, both of Chicago, were in the car at the time of the accident.

Three other people who said rocks were thrown at their vehicles saw neither other vehicles nor people, according to police reports.

Traffic investigators, assisted by a homicide detective, were working on the case yesterday, police said. Police found the rock in Mr. Gallagher's truck, said Officer Randy Bell, a police spokesman.

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