Calvert Man, 30, Is Charged in Fatal Collision

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 13, 2007

When Calvert County sheriff's deputies rolled up to a crash scene last week, according to their account, the two drivers involved couldn't have been acting more differently.

On the side of the road, lying in a weeded area, Harold Jerew, 47, was fighting for his life. He had been riding his new Harley-Davidson south on Wilson Road, east of Prince Frederick.

Still inside his car was the second man, John P. Maloney, 30. Moments before, while driving in the opposite direction on Wilson Road, authorities said, Maloney had drifted right into a guardrail, bounced across the lane into oncoming traffic and slammed into Jerew's Harley.

As he sat talking to paramedics Tuesday afternoon, his speech slurred, Maloney smiled and laughed, according to a written statement describing the scene later submitted to Calvert County District Court by one of the deputies.

The Calvert County Sheriff's Office filed a slate of charges Tuesday against Maloney, alleging that he committed negligent homicide. Authorities said they found a bag of marijuana in his pocket and a marijuana smoking pipe in the sock. A breath test indicated he had not been drinking. Authorities allege he was high on drugs.

The allegations in this case bear a resemblance to the facts of another crash a year ago. The driver in that incident is scheduled to go before a judge for sentencing tomorrow. Albert Reigle Jr., who pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicle manslaughter, faces up to 10 years in prison on each count.

Charging documents said Reigle was high on PCP the morning of April 17, 2006, as he drove his green Thunderbird along Route 2/4 south of Prince Frederick. He hit the rear of a van, spinning it across the median, where it collided with a pickup truck and caught fire. Two occupants of the van, Theresa Gant and Natala Lowery, were killed.

Last Tuesday's crash, and the allegations surrounding it, have devastated members of Jerew's family, who knew the Harley rider as "Bob" or "Bobby."

"He is my world," his daughter, Danielle Jerew, 24, said Thursday, avoiding the past tense. On her MySpace Web page -- in a posting made long before the collision -- she called him her hero and said he had kept her from going hungry and homeless. In an interview, Jerew said she has had a rough go, but living and working with her dad had helped get her back on her feet.

Together they worked at his scrap metal business. Bob Jerew owned a flat-bed tow truck, on which he hauled wrecked cars to metal recyclers such as Joseph Smith & Sons in Capitol Heights.

"He'd try to beat me up on price, but always in a nice way," said Chip Willet, a buyer there. "He always brought in good weight. He was definitely hustling some cars in."

Bob Jerew married his high-school sweetheart, Donna Jerew, she said in an interview. "He loved the wind hitting his face," she said of his motorcycle riding. Jerew had been in a bad motorcycle accident about 20 years ago, family members said. He was wearing a helmet when he was hit last week.

The two divorced, but Donna Jerew said that they remained good enough friends and that she would visit his house in St. Leonard, where he lived with their daughter, Danielle, and his wife, Sharon.

Danielle Jerew said she planned to stay at the house with Sharon. "I hope we can," Danielle Jerew said. "Me and her shared him everyday. We're all each other's got."

Danielle Jerew said she hadn't figured out how to tell her 7-year-old son, Brice, what happened. "All I've said is, 'Papa went home to the angels,' " she said.

But her son wasn't convinced. His grandfather is at the hospital, the boy told his mom, and after he eats fruit there for four days, he'll come home.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company