Anne Arundel County police are investigating the death of a 77-year-old woman whose automobile sped out of control Saturday as she left a carwash on Hog Neck Road, sideswiped another car, careened over a concrete island and slammed into the side of a third car.
Elizabeth Marie Heisch of the 100 block of Park Road died of chest injuries, an autopsy found.
Police are investigating whether her car, a 1999 Chrysler Concorde LXi, malfunctioned or whether a medical condition affected Heisch.
Police said Heisch entered her car to leave the Pasadena Car Wash on Hog Neck Road just before 10: 30 a.m.
The employee who brought the car around for her left the engine running, but Heisch turned the ignition again, grinding the starter, police said.
The car bolted, sideswiping a 1989 Fort Mustang parked on the lot, where Tracy D. Ruszin, 32, was putting her children into the back seat.
The Concorde accelerated as it ran over a concrete median and onto Hog Neck Road, where it crashed into an eastbound Saturn.
The driver of the Saturn, Eual Earnest Conley, 51, of the 100 block of Waldo Road, was treated at Maryland Shock Trauma Center and released.
Heisch, who was not wearing a seat belt, was in cardiac arrest when rescue workers arrived. Police said a heart problem could have been brought on by the impact of the air bag.
"You will hit your chest sufficiently hard if you're within 10 inches of the steering wheel," said Sgt. Charles Vanscoy of the county traffic investigation unit.
"With her being 70, she's kind of frail to begin with. She could still have massive injury to the chest" even though she hit the air bag instead of the steering wheel, he said.
Police hope to conclude their investigation within a week, Vanscoy said.
Pub Date: 9/21/99