In One Week, Six Traffic Deaths on Tri-County Roads

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By Jonathan Abel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 31, 2005

It was one of the deadliest weeks on Southern Maryland roads in recent memory.

After an accident claimed the lives of three Charles County men early last Sunday, the tri-county area suffered three more car fatalities in the second half of the week -- including two separate accidents involving young drivers in which authorities said alcohol was a factor.

Jean Wright Linehan, 88, of Owings was killed about 10:25 p.m. Wednesday when she ran into traffic to save her dog, the Calvert County Sheriff's Office said.

The accident occurred at Route 4 and Mount Harmony Road in Owings.

Linehan was struck and killed by a car driven by Erik Scott Glassman, 24, of Arlington, according to the sheriff's office. Her dog also died after being hit by the car.

"She was not even wearing shoes," said Sgt. William McMeins of the Maryland State Police. "She had a housecoat on." McMeins said that Glassman, a volunteer paramedic, tried to treat Linehan immediately after she had been hit, but she died at the scene. According to McMeins, there was no indication that Glassman was speeding or that alcohol was involved.

Linehan was a retired Prince George's County schoolteacher, according to a man who said he was her son and who responded to questions at her home. He declined to give his name.

St. Mary's Crash

On Wednesday morning, 23-year-old Kenneth Raymond Casteel of Cumberland, Md., died when his car went off the road and overturned in St. Mary's County.

The crash took place about 3:30 a.m. on Piney Point Road, about five miles from Tall Timbers Road.

State police said Casteel was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.

Headed south, he was not able to negotiate a curve, and his car began to skid off the road. The vehicle rolled over and landed in a field.

Casteel was trapped inside and was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only person in the car.

Accident in Dentsville

On Friday, Amber Marie Rose, 16, crashed into a tree about 3:40 a.m. in the 8800 block of Derby Court in Dentsville, said Kristen Adkins, public information officer for the Charles County Sheriff's Office.

"There is evidence that alcohol was involved," Adkins said. A news release from the sheriff's office also cited speed as a factor in the crash.

Rose, who was on her way home to Marbury, was driving her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt when she lost control, the sheriff's office said. She was taken to Civista Medical Center for treatment and was pronounced dead soon after. Rose was not wearing a seat belt, authorities said.

Her death brought Charles County's traffic fatality count to 30 this year. The county had 17 road deaths during all of last year.

At the beginning of the week, after the crash near Pomfret that killed three young men, officials from the Charles County Sheriff's Office and the state police called a news conference at which they implored motorists to "slow down" on Southern Maryland's roads.

Sheriff Frederick E. Davis (R) urged motorists to call police when they see aggressive drivers or vehicles traveling at obviously excessive speeds.

The sheriff's office has designated Route 301 from La Plata south to the Potomac River as a special enforcement area, where officers will use radar checks and other tactics to try to slow traffic to safer speeds.


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