MARYLAND

Driver Kills 7-Year-Old

A 7-year-old girl was struck and killed by a car yesterday morning in Langley Park as she stood with her mother on the median in the 1400 block of University Boulevard.

Yesenia Vasquez of Silver Spring was taken to Children's Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. Her mother, whose name police did not release, was not injured.

Cpl. Diane Richardson, a spokeswoman for the Prince George's County police, said a man driving a Toyota Corolla "for some unknown reason" drove onto the median and struck the child. Police identified the man as Timoteo Morales, 32, of the 1400 block of Kanawha Street in Langley Park. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death and driving without a license, police said.

"At this point, we don't know if it was deliberate or if it was an accident," Richardson said. "We have a lot of unanswered questions."

Richardson said several officers who were finishing a call at La Union Mall witnessed the incident. The driver, who was westbound on University Boulevard, hit the child and then continued across the eastbound traffic lanes, according to police. As the car continued into the parking lot of the mall, an officer drove his vehicle into the path of the car, Richardson said.

Man Dies in Jessup Crash

A Lanham man was killed Friday night after his car swerved off Route 1 in Jessup and struck a tree.

Patrick D. Skellenger, 40, of the 5400 block of 85th Avenue, was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Skellenger's son, Sean, who was a passenger in the car, was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital. The 14-year-old was treated for minor injuries.

The Howard County Police Department is investigating the crash.

Beaten Teen Faces Long Road

Family members remain stunned at the near-fatal beating of a 17-year-old honor student at Lansdowne High School in Towson.

Shannon Pierre-Jerome is in critical but stable condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Juan Pablo Navarro Juarez, 24, is charged with attempted first-degree murder for allegedly beating her and leaving her for dead in their Towson apartment Wednesday.

Pierre-Jerome had planned to study Spanish and dance at Towson University starting this fall.

Family members said the beating left Pierre-Jerome horribly disfigured. An uncle, Ryan Booth, said doctors predict that she'll be at Shock Trauma for three months and in intensive care for six more months. After that, she will require up to two years of rehabilitation, Booth said.

THE DISTRICT

Man Missing; Car Found

D. C. police are searching for James Lewis Harris, 65, of the 1800 block of U Street SE, a diabetic who has been missing since about 8:20 p.m. Monday. Harris's car was found abandoned Friday on Interstate 295.

Harris is 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs 175 pounds and has gray hair and a mustache. Police did not know what he was wearing when he disappeared. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call 202-727-9099.

VIRGINIA

Trooper Charged in Sex Case

A Virginia state trooper will be arraigned Tuesday on charges he used the Internet to try to arrange a meeting with a 13-year-old girl in Stafford County, authorities said Friday.

Travis W. Sorrells, 28, was charged with four counts of taking indecent liberties with minors and using computers to facilitate offenses involving children, state police Sgt. Gary Settle said.

Sorrells, a trooper stationed in Appomattox, was being held without bond in the Rappahannock Regional Jail and has been suspended without pay from his job, Settle said.

According to police and prosecutors, the girl Sorrells arranged to meet at a fast-food restaurant was actually a Stafford detective participating in a state police training class on Internet chat rooms.

State Checks Beach Conditions

Virginia health officials are stepping up monitoring of the state's public beaches to make sure they are clean enough for playing and swimming.

The campaign is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Beaches Plan to help prevent illnesses related to swimming and frolicking in dirty coastal waters.

"This really gets me way down deep, talking to all these people and seeing all of this. . . . It's the best thing I've done in my life."

-- Guy Kemp, 85, a former Navy Seabee, on the dedication of the National World War II Memorial yesterday on the Mall. He confessed that his son had to talk him into making the trip from his home in Winter Haven, Fla. -- Page A1

Compiled from reports by staff writer Ovetta Wiggins and the Associated Press.

James L. Harris vanished Monday night.