A West Point cadet traveling to the Washington area for Thanksgiving was fatally injured late Wednesday when the car in which he was riding swerved to avoid a deer on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway near Laurel and crashed into several trees, U.S. Park Police reported.
They said Daniel Lee, 19, of Los Angeles, died at the University of Maryland's Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore about 3 a.m. Five other cadets in the car were injured in the crash, one seriously.
The six cadets had left West Point, N.Y. about 4 p.m. Wednesday in a rental car and were traveling south on the parkway just south of Route 198 shortly before midnight when a deer bounded out of the woods on the right side of the roadway, police said.
The driver of the car, Peter Rosario, 19, of Hanover, Md., swerved to miss the deer, the car went out of control, down an embankment and struck several trees, police said. Rosario, the only person in the car wearing a seat belt, was treated at Greater Laurel-Beltsville Hospital and released.
Carl Mance, 20, of Sara Vista, Ariz., was reported in serious condition last night at Greater-Laurel Beltsville with multiple injuries, according to hospital officials.
They said David C. Walton III, 19, of Rockville, also was treated there and released.
Two other passengers in the car, brothers from Annandale, were transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Officials there last night said Scott Bruner, 20, was listed in good condition with a head injury and could be released today.
Hospital officials said David Bruner, 18, suffered a fractured rib and kidney damage and was listed in stable condition last night.
Walton said yesterday that the six cadets had joined together to rent the car to travel to Washington. Although all were headed home or to the homes of friends, he said, the six had not all known one another before planning the journey.
Walton said Rosario swerved to avoid the deer, first to the left, then, when the deer continued in that direction, back to the right.
"He missed the deer, but he ended up going down the embankment" into a line of trees at the bottom, Walton said.
Walton said all the cadets but the Bruners are sophomores at West Point. The younger Bruner is a freshman, he said, the older a junior.