In some of yesterday's editions, an article about Washington area storms contained incorrect information about a car accident. The victim of the accident, Richard T. Spencer of Frederick, Md., was killed Monday afternoon.
She was a child of the middle class who grew up in Bethesda and went to public schools. He was the son of a Washington lawyer who lived in Georgetown and boarded at an exclusive private academy.
But Bridget Armitage and Jonathan D. Novak, both 17, found a way to bridge their disparate worlds as only teen-agers experiencing their first summer love can.
The strength of their love united the two teen-agers' families and friends this week in shared grief over the death of Armitage in a car accident that left Novak seriously injured.
According to police, Novak was driving west on East West Highway near Wisconsin Avenue in Montgomery County about midnight Friday when he lost control of the car and crashed into an apartment building wall. Armitage, a passenger, died Saturday afternoon.
"It's just so hard to believe she's left us," said Patricia Armitage, Bridget's mother. "But there is no way that we could have any vindictiveness toward him. We loved him just as much as we loved Bridget."
Armitage, a senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, and Novak, who attended Phillips Academy at Andover last year, met at Rehoboth Beach. Their summer-long friendship blossomed with the new school year.
"I remember her telling me, 'I met this most interesting young man. He is just so different,' " said Patricia Armitage, "It was like the first summer love on both sides."
This fall Bridget returned to her senior year at B-CC, where she looked forward to starting on the girls' field hockey team, working on the yearbook staff and taking honors courses in French, English and history. Jonathan transferred to Georgetown Day School in the District, and they became a popular pair among Bridget's friends.
"She was a very sweet, lovable person, and we just loved Jonathan," said Jennifer Harfeld, 17, one of Bridget's best friends. "They were very much in love."
Last Friday, Jonathan borrowed his father's sleek 1985 Jaguar sedan to take Bridget out.
After watching a football game at B-CC, they went to a postgame party, then were heading for their favorite fast food place on East West Highway.
Police said the car, powered by a turbocharged engine, skidded 198 feet before striking the curb in the opposite lane. It jumped the curb and skidded 74 feet across a grassy open area before glancing off a tree and slamming into the brick wall of the Rivera Cooperative Apartments at 4242 East West Hwy., police said.
Police yesterday revised a statement that alcohol was a factor in the crash. They blamed the crash on excessive speed. Neither occupant had been drinking, according to friends, and medical tests for alcohol proved negative, according to a spokesman at Suburban Hospital.
"He's not totally clear what happened. He just lost control of the car," Alan R. Novak said about his son, who received a leg fracture, knee damage and chest injuries.
News of the accident stunned students and faculty at B-CC, where Armitage had been very popular.
"We all just hugged each other and cried," said Sarah Bailey, 17, a close friend.
"Kids are really wrestling with their grief and shock," said B-CC Assistant Principal Gene Counihan.
The school has planned a memorial service tomorrow and will set up a scholarship fund in Armitage's memory, Counihan said.