2 Killed, 2 Injured in 3 Traffic Accidents
Two people were killed and four others injured last night in three automobile accidents in the region.
In Fairfax County, a 56-year-old homeless man was fatally struck by a car as he crossed a busy street in the Falls Church area, police said. The man was crossing the westbound lanes of Route 50 at Patrick Henry Drive about 8:22 p.m. when he was struck by a car in the far left lane. He was pronounced dead at the scene, said Fairfax County police spokeswoman Courtney Young.
The driver stopped and called 911. The man was not in the crosswalk when he was struck, police said. All westbound lanes of Route 50 were closed for about three hours because of the accident.
In an accident about 11 p.m., at Route 50 and Jaguar Trail in Fairfax, a drunk driver struck a vehicle, critically injuring the two people in it, police said. The drunk driver was traveling east on Route 50 when he turned on Jaguar Lane and struck a vehicle traveling west, Young said. Police said it was unclear whether the drunk driver made an illegal turn. The two people in the other vehicle were taken to Fairfax Inova Hospital.
A short time later in Montgomery County, a girl was killed in a single-vehicle crash at Norbeck and Norwood roads in Wheaton, police said. The driver and another person were flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
Group Urges Sick Clients to Boil Water
The announcement this week that bacteria levels in D.C. tap water exceeded the federal safety standard this month prompted a group that serves D.C. residents with life-threatening illnesses to advise its clients not to drink tap water that has not been boiled or filtered.
Food & Friends will deliver a flier to clients Monday urging that if they drink tap water, they should boil it for one minute before doing so or use a reverse-osmosis filtration system. The flier urges that clients drink bottled water that is distilled or purified by reverse-osmosis filtration.
The group has offered such advice since the mid-1990s, when city water exceeded several times safety levels for bacteria. About 60 percent of the group's clients have AIDS; the rest have other illnesses that weaken the immune system.
Flawed Bay Bridge Work Stretches Delays
More than half of the resurfacing done so far on the westbound lane of the Bay Bridge must be redone, adding about $7 million to the project's $60 million price tag and ensuring further traffic delays, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority.
Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan said cracks in the concrete began appearing last year after the contractor used a "state-of-the-art" resurfacing method to speed the project by allowing work to continue in cold weather.
The authority, which runs Maryland's toll highways and bridges, is not sure what went wrong or whether the state or the contractor, Cianbro Corp. of Pittsfield, Maine, is liable for the additional cost.
Flanagan said fixing the problem will force more lane closings than expected, mostly in spring and fall next year. He said the peak summer season would not be affected.
Last night, traffic on Route 50 in Anne Arundel County was backed up for 10 miles after a westbound lane of the bridge was closed for repairs, Maryland State Police officials said. Traffic was made worse by throngs of vehicles heading to Ocean City for Sunfest Weekend, an annual outdoor festival, police said.nicole fuller
The authority said Thursday that additional closures would cause delays on weekends through November.
Also through November, two lanes of the westbound bridge will be closed each night at 8, leaving a single lane. From 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., the westbound bridge will close and the eastbound span will be used for two-way traffic. Engineers hope they can complete the work by summer 2006.
Tax-Funded Ehrlich Ads Prompt Hearings
Maryland lawmakers will conduct hearings within the next 30 days to determine whether to restrict the governor's ability to spend taxpayer money on television commercials that feature him prominently.
Members of the majority-Democrat legislature said they have concerns about a series of ads airing on Maryland stations. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) has been touting for months the virtues of Maryland tourism and the Motor Vehicle Administration on cable. Starting this week, he has been in ads on a Fox Baltimore affiliate encouraging residents to purchase energy-efficient homes. He also will promote the Oct. 9 Maryland Million horse race.
Ehrlich spokeswoman Shareese DeLeaver said the governor has no plans to curtail the ads.
Analysts Foresee Budget Surplus
Maryland budget analysts say the state is on pace to collect $242.6 million more in revenue than projected in the 2005 fiscal year, which could help ease predicted budget problems.
The new projection by the Bureau of Revenue Estimates is driven by greater-than-expected individual and corporate sales taxes, as well as rosier forecasts for investment income and revenue from several other state taxes and fees.
The bureau expects the state to collect nearly $10.8 billion in general fund revenues for the fiscal year that ends in June. The news follows the announcement last month by Comptroller William Donald Schaefer (D), that Maryland ended its 2004 fiscal year with a $309.7 million surplus.
If current trends continue, a looming shortfall in the state's 2006 budget could drop from $830 million to less than $600 million. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) could use money from past surpluses to further narrow the gap.
Loudoun Investigator Shoots Wife
A Loudoun County sheriff's investigator shot his wife while he cleaned his small-caliber handgun Thursday night, authorities said. The shooting apparently was accidental, sheriff's spokesman Kraig Troxell said.
The investigator, whom authorities have not identified, called 911 just before midnight. The wife was airlifted from their home in Lovettsville to Washington Hospital Center and was in stable condition yesterday, Troxell said.
The department is investigating the shooting. The investigator, a 15-year veteran of the department, has been placed on paid leave.
"It's silly to engage in overkill. You can only serve one death sentence, and you can only serve one life sentence."
-- March statement by Spotsylvania Commonwealth's Attorney William F. Neely, who has agreed not to seek the death penalty in the case of convicted sniper Lee Boyd Malvo. -- Page A1
Compiled from reports by staff writers D'Vera Cohn, Nicole Fuller, Matthew Mosk, John Wagner, Karin Bruilliard and Clarence Williams and the Associated Press.