4th-grade teacher is dead after loose wheel hit car on I-95 ramp

A fourth-grade teacher at Chapel Hill Elementary School in Perry Hall died yesterday from injuries suffered Friday when a wheel came off a tractor-trailer and hit her car on an Interstate 95 exit ramp in East Baltimore.

Ellen Nehmsmann, 53, of the 4400 block Camellia Road in Perry Hall died at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center after being sustained by life support since the accident, said her husband of 27 years, Jack Nehmsmann.


Nehmsmann's car was struck about 3:30 p.m. Friday as she was exiting I-95 southbound at O'Donnell Street, according to the Baltimore Police Department.

"Something happened with the axle, and a wheel came off the truck and struck the other vehicle," said Baltimore police spokeswoman Nicole Monroe.


The accident is under investigation, and no other details were available yesterday, Monroe said.

Nehmsmann was the "backbone of the family" who devoted more than 20 years to teaching and loved painting and knitting in her spare time, said Jack Nehmsmann.

"She loved to paint Norman Rockwell-style. She did some reproductions of those that I bet could pass for originals," he said. "And she loved teaching. She loved dealing with the young kids."

Jack Nehmsmann, a retired teacher, said he was looking forward to his wife's retirement, which she planned to begin in a few years. The couple hoped to spend their retirement years traveling, particularly to Italy and France.

Jonna Hundley, principal at Chapel Hill Elementary School, said she spent most of yesterday speaking to distraught parents about the accident. She said a team of grief counselors will be available at the school for pupils in need.

"She was an outstanding teacher," Hundley said. "She will be so missed by our entire school community."