Infant, toddler are killed, mother injured in crash


The infant son and 2-year-old daughter of an Ellicott City couple died from injuries they suffered Saturday afternoon when the car their mother was driving struck a tree on Thunder Hill Road in Columbia.

Their mother, Mee Choe, 28, of the 8600 block of Wheatfield Way was in critical condition last night at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Neighbors said Mrs. Choe and her husband had no other children.

Mrs. Choe was driving south on Thunder Hill Road in Columbia at 12:25 p.m. Saturday when her 1993 Mercury Sable veered off the right side of the road and struck a tree just south of White Acre Road, according to Howard County police.

The cause of the accident has not been determined, but nothing on the report indicated that speed or alcohol were factors, according to police. The accident remains under investigation.

The children -- Michael, 7 months, and Hannah, 2 -- were flown by helicopter to Johns Hopkins Hospital. Hannah died at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and her brother died at 10:15 a.m. yesterday, according to a hospital spokesman.

Police said both children were in the back seat -- the baby was strapped into a child car seat, and Hannah was wearing a seat belt.

Mrs. Choe, who had been in serious, stable condition, was downgraded to critical condition yesterday.

Relatives and friends who gathered at the Choes' two-story red-brick house yesterday declined requests for interviews. Neighbors said the Choes have lived in the Wheatfield Way subdivision off Route 103 for about seven years.

An extended family shares the home, including a grandmother who was seen nearly every morning taking the baby for walks, neighbors said. They said the Choes were pleasant and friendly, and often waved hello to neighbors as they left for work. But neighbors said they kept to themselves and were not well-known in the neighborhood.

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