- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 22, 2002

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) A Frederick County grand jury yesterday indicted an epileptic man on manslaughter and other charges in a traffic accident that killed four persons.
Anthony F. Grimes, 34, of Frederick, will surrender to authorities no later than tomorrow night, State's Attorney Scott Rolle told a news conference.
Mr. Rolle said Mr. Grimes had failed to take a seizure-controlling prescription drug, Tegretol, for several days before the March 23 collision that killed Rodney B. Pulliam, the city's chief operations officer, and his sons Rodney, 10; Jordan, 8; and Matthew, 6.
Mr. Grimes told police that he had a seizure and blacked out before his 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass, traveling at least 63 mph, rear-ended Mr. Pulliam's 1994 Hyundai at a stoplight, Mr. Rolle said. Eight other persons were hurt in the six-vehicle pileup.
Mr. Grimes is charged with four counts of manslaughter by motor vehicle, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine for each count. He also is charged with two counts of reckless driving and one of failure to control his speed to avoid a collision.
Mr. Rolle said the manslaughter charges reflected the fact that Mr. Grimes failed to take his medication. "He knew this could occur and continued to drive his automobile," the prosecutor said.
Mr. Rolle said he aims to ensure that Mr. Grimes never drives again.
Mr. Grimes told police he felt a seizure coming on shortly before his car slammed into another at a traffic light that day. He told police he had stopped his car and used a vagus nerve stimulator a device used for treating epilepsy to alleviate the symptoms before driving on. The next thing he knew, he said, someone was helping him from his car.
The state Motor Vehicle Administration suspended Mr. Grimes' driver's license four days later at the request of the Frederick County State's Attorney's Office. It was Mr. Grimes' second emergency suspension. MVA records show a suspension Feb. 12, 2001, that was withdrawn April 20, 2001. The reasons for those actions cannot be released except by a court order, MVA officials said.
Maryland law requires drivers who have seizures to wait three months before they drive again. If, in that period, they receive medical treatment and do not have another seizure, they generally can resume driving. A medical advisory board advises the motor-vehicle agency on such cases.


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