Truck Driver Rescued from Seneca Creek

A truck driver had a narrow escape yesterday when two off-duty firefighters and a civilian came to his rescue after his truck plunged down a hill off Interstate 270 in Montgomery County, authorities said.

Robert Kinder, 59, of Hagerstown lost control of his 2000 Mack tractor-trailer as he drove south on I-270 near Middlebrook Road.

He then hit the right guardrail and wall, Maryland State Police said.

The truck overturned and fell 50 to 60 feet down a hill before coming to rest in Seneca Creek.

Cpt. Demetrios Vlassopoulos, 39, of the D.C. fire department, said he was on his way to work from his home in Frederick when he stopped at the accident site. He said Kinder was standing outside his vehicle in water up to his waist but was either too injured or too weak to walk to shore.

Vlassopoulos said he waded into the water, put his arms around Kinder's legs and boosted him up to two other men -- a New York City firefighter and a Germantown man -- who also had stopped and were standing on the overturned tanker.

"The driver was extremely lucky. He has a lot to be thankful for," said Vlassopoulos, of Engine Company No. 18 in Southeast.

Kinder was taken to Suburban Hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, authorities said. State police are investigating the cause of the crash.

Teenager Suffers Cardiac Arrest

A 15-year-old boy was in critical condition yesterday after having a cardiac arrest on a football field at Friendly High School in Fort Washington, authorities said.

Emergency personnel arrived at the high school about 2 p.m. and found the boy without a pulse, authorities said. He was taken to Fort Washington Hospital, where medics generated a pulse, then transferred by helicopter to Children's Hospital in the District, authorities said.

The name of the boy as not available yesterday. Authorities did not elaborate on what caused the cardiac arrest.


Teacher Accused of Supplying Alcohol

A 27-year-old Prince William County high school teacher has resigned following allegations that he supplied alcohol to 16-year-old girls in his home.

Michael Williams, who taught at Forest Park High School in Woodbridge, hosted several girls at his Montclair home and supplied them with alcohol, according to Prince William School Superintendent Edward L. Kelly. The alleged incidents occurred between August and October, police said.

Williams was arrested Tuesday on two counts each of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and buying alcohol for a person under 21 years old, said Sgt. M.C. Quattlebaum of the Prince William police.

Both are misdemeanor charges, he said.

Williams's resignation was accepted by the district, Kelly said. Williams could not be reached to comment.

"These kinds of things are more than disappointing," Kelly said. Noting the relatively small age difference between Williams and the high school students, Kelly added: "Unfortunately this was one of those situations where the person was not as mature as we had hoped."

Group Criticizes 'Turkey Terrorist' Ad

The nation's largest animal rights group is under fire for a television ad campaign featuring a "turkey terrorist" taking hostages in a supermarket.

The commercial, made by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, depicts a store manager being bound and gagged and shoppers taken hostage while an unseen terrorist threatens to beat, scald and dismember any "innocent creatures" that resist. The terrorist is revealed to be a turkey puppet who urges people to stop eating meat.

"I think it is always inappropriate to promote propaganda that puts fear in anyone's mind," said Sherrie Rosenblatt, spokeswoman for the National Turkey Federation.

Norfolk-based PETA did not apologize for the ad, despite a pledge following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to play down its incendiary messages.

"A fake supermarket takeover has zip to do with the events of September 11," spokeswoman Lisa Lange said. "You'd really have to be a big grump not to see the humor in all of this."


South Capitol Street Meeting Scheduled

The District's Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 7 to solicit ideas for the South Capitol Street/Frederick Douglass Bridge Gateway and Improvement Study.

The meeting at Savoy Elementary School, 2400 Shannon Place SE, is the second in a series of four forums for the public to review ideas and provide suggestions about options for improving the South Capitol Street corridor, used by more than 70,000 vehicles each weekday.

The study covers roadway, transit, bicycle, pedestrian and other improvements along South Capitol Street, from the U.S. Capitol to Suitland Parkway and on New Jersey Avenue from the Capitol to M Street SW and SE.

Three Injured in Rowhouse Fire

Three people were hospitalized with minor injuries early yesterday after a fire gutted their Northeast rowhouse, causing about $100,000 in damage, D.C. fire department spokesman Alan Etter said.

Firefighters dispatched at 4:54 a.m. to 612 Sixth St. NE were able to keep the fire, which began "in a back porch area," from spreading to nearby homes, Etter said. The three residents, an adult female and two teenagers, were taken to George Washington University Hospital.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

"I have turkey elbow . . . . This is a good opportunity to give of yourself a bit."

-- Gil Hofheimer, a Mercedes-Benz salesman, one of hundreds

of area volunteers who helped serve Thanksgiving

dinners yesterday to the poor and sick. -- Page B1.

Compiled from reports by staff writers Michael Amon, Caryle Murphy and David Cho and the Associated Press.