Driver in troopers' custody dies of internal injuries after crash; Police say man declined treatment, had no bruises


A Frederick County man arrested after a car accident early yesterday collapsed and died of internal injuries shortly after Maryland State Police took him to be tested for driving while intoxicated, authorities said.

Kevin B. Padgette, 33, of the 6200 block of Mountain Church Road in Jefferson, had no signs of injury at the accident scene and had refused to be taken to the hospital for further evaluation, police said.

Padgette lost control of his 1995 Saturn while driving west on Interstate 70 near New Market about 4 a.m. The car spun around and slid into a tree off the right side of the highway, police said.

Emergency medical personnel reported no signs of injury, said state police spokesman Pete A. Piringer.

"There was no bleeding, no bruising, no obvious broken bones," Piringer said. "He was conscious, fairly coherent and refused transport."

Troopers detected a strong odor of alcohol on Padgette and arrested him on charges of driving while intoxicated after he refused to be taken to the hospital, authorities said. He later passed out while at state police barracks in Frederick, Piringer said.

Troopers administered emergency care and summoned paramedics, who took Padgette to Frederick Memorial Hospital, said Piringer. He died shortly after 6 a.m. of a ruptured aorta, according to preliminary autopsy results.

State police said they are conducting an internal investigation into Padgette's death.

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