2 U.S. 50 crashes send 3 to hospital, snarl traffic; Vehicles overturn; no charges planned


Two Columbia teen-agers were hospitalized in critical condition and a Chestertown man in serious condition, and traffic on U.S. 50 near Annapolis was held up for hours yesterday after two accidents in which vehicles overturned, state police said.

The first accident occurred on the southbound Interstate 97 ramp to eastbound U.S. 50 shortly before noon when Elizabeth A. Perry, 17, lost control of her 1995 Nissan Pathfinder. Police said the driver of a 1989 Ford delivery truck changed lanes in front of Perry, apparently startling her.

The Pathfinder flipped over and came to rest on its roof on the right shoulder of the ramp, police said. Perry and Sally Jo Melin, 16, were trapped in the truck.

Another passenger, Mark J. Esser Jr., 22, also of Columbia, got out of the wreckage on his own. He was treated at Anne Arundel Medical Center and released.

Troopers closed the ramp and eastbound U.S. 50 at Aris T. Allen Boulevard for about 40 minutes to allow state police MedEvac helicopters to land and take off.

Perry was in critical but stable condition and Melin in critical condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

About 3: 30 p.m. James Robert Newnam, 43, of Chestertown lost control of his 1996 Hyundai Elantra while he was traveling east on U.S. 50 just past the Ritchie Highway interchange. His car hit a barrier, overturned and came to rest in the left lane upright, police said.

Police shut down eastbound U.S. 50 again for about 40 minutes. Newman suffered head injuries and was in serious condition at Shock Trauma.

No one will be charged in either accident, police said. Neither drugs nor alcohol contributed to either accident, they said.

Pub Date: 2/04/99

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