Two elderly women and the driver of the minibus in which they were riding were taken to hospitals yesterday morning after the vehicle flipped onto its side in a rush-hour accident with a sedan at a Baltimore intersection.
Paramedics removed the two women after they were trapped in the back of the overturned Ford minibus that was in a collision with a Mercedes-Benz C280 at St. Paul and East 20th streets. The women and their driver had been on their way to pick up a third woman from a public-housing complex nearby on West 20th Street.
Edith Whitfield saw the crash from where she sat in her wheelchair as she waited to be picked up by the van outside her building and became visibly upset, with tears running down her cheeks. "The van just went up in the air and flipped," she said after approaching the site of the crash. "I had to come and see if my driver was OK."
The cause of the accident was in dispute. Whitfield said the driver of the Mercedes, who was uninjured, had run a red light as she traveled south on St. Paul Street. The driver of the Mercedes, who declined to give her name, said she had begun moving only after her light turned green and that it was the minibus driver, heading west, who had gone against his red light.
A Baltimore police accident investigation officer, C.K. Thomas, began interviewing witnesses to sort it all out. An employee of Veolia Transportation, which owns the minibus, was also summoned to the scene.
The accident, in the shadow of St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church, prompted the closure of both streets and caused traffic delays in the area.