Air bags are being credited with helping save the lives of two drivers whose automobiles collided head-on in Camp Springs Saturday night, killing the wife of one. It was one of four fatal accidents on area roads Saturday.
Prince George's County Police said Todd Hoag, 20, his wife and their baby were traveling north on Allentown Road toward Coolridge Road about 11:20 p.m. when they were struck head-on by a car that had crossed the double yellow line.
Neither Hoag nor his wife, Christina Marie Hoag, 24, was wearing a seat belt. Christina Hoag died in the crash; Todd Hoag said he suffered a fractured arm.
"I believe the air bag saved my life," Hoag said.
The Hoags' 4-month-old child, Kristie, was strapped into a child safety seat in the back seat of their 1989 Chrysler LeBaron and suffered only minor injuries, Hoag said.
Police said the driver of the Dodge Daytona, David B. Patterson, of the 4900 block of McKinley Street in Camp Springs, was treated at Southern Maryland Hospital and released. A passenger in the Dodge, Antonia Babka, of the 8600 block of Bazke Court in Clinton, also was treated.
A police spokeswoman said that she did not know if either Patterson or Babka was wearing a seat belt, but that Patterson was protected by an air bag. Neither Patterson nor Babka, whose ages could not be learned, could be reached for comment yesterday.
Police said no charges had been filed in the accident.
A head-on collision March 12 in Culpeper County, Va., is believed to be the first accident in the nation in which both cars deployed air bags. The drivers of the cars, both Chrysler LeBarons, escaped serious injury.
Todd Hoag said the accident happened while the family was returning to their home in the 5900 block of Alan Drive in Clinton after visiting the his wife's parents nearby.
The Camp Springs accident was one of four incidents Saturday in which a total of six people were killed.
About 10:20 p.m., a motorcyclist and his passenger were killed after being struck by a 1988 Ford Tempo on U.S. Route 1 south of Route 212 in Beltsville.
The dead were identified as the driver of the motorcycle, James Daniel Ignowski II, 22, of the 9700 block of 52nd Avenue in College Park, and his passenger, Vicki Lynn Morris, 18, of the 9000 block of North Laurel Road in Laurel. Police said it was not clear whether they were wearing helmets.
The driver of the Tempo, Sheri Lynn Anderson, 21, of the 4900 block of Columbia Road in Columbia, was treated for minor injuries at Prince George's General Hospital.
Maryland State Police said they are investigating the accident. No charges have been filed.
A third accident occurred about 11:40 p.m. on Fieldcrest Road about a mile east of Route 124 near Gaithersburg. Montgomery County police said Eric Philip Martin, 21, of Rockville, was standing in the westbound lane talking to a friend when he was struck and killed by a Toyota truck driven by Mark George Condry, 23, of Olney. No charges have been filed in the accident.
Earlier Saturday, two men were killed in a single-car accident in the Franconia area of Fairfax County. Officials attributed the accident to high speed and alcohol.
Jerry D. Dismuke, 30, of the 4600 block of Seminary Road in Alexandria, was driving east in a 1990 Ford Taurus on Franconia Road near Telegraph Road about 4:30 a.m. when the car left the road and struck a utility pole, police said.
Dismuke and his passenger, whom police were still trying to identify, were dead at the scene, police said.