- The Washington Times - Monday, March 24, 2008


Hit-and-run victim dies of injuries

A woman struck by a hit-and-run driver last Monday died yesterday morning.

Shirley Ann Wingfield, 68, of the District, was pronounced dead at Prince George’s Hospital Center. She was hit by a 1990s blue Chevrolet Impala with temporary Maryland tags on Minnesota Avenue Southeast.

Family of four escapes fire

A family of four managed to escape a fire yesterday morning that destroyed their home in Northeast.

D.C. fire department spokesman Alan Etter said everyone was asleep about 6 a.m., when a teenage girl woke up and smelled smoke. She awakened everyone else.

Officials said the fire was caused by a space heater. The house had smoke alarms, but they didn’t go off.



18 displaced by apartment fire

Two firefighters were hurt and 18 persons displaced in a two-alarm fire yesterday at a garden apartment complex, Howard County fire officials said.

The fire broke out about 7 a.m. at the Town & Country Apartments.

Officials said the blaze was so intense that firefighters were forced to battle the flames from outside. The two firefighters were hurt when an air-conditioning unit fell on them. Both were taken to Howard County General Hospital with minor injuries.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Brush fire challenges firefighters in woods

A brush fire engulfed about 8 acres yesterday afternoon near the north branch of Rock Creek.

Montgomery County fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said about 50 firefighters were on the scene for several hours until the flames were extinguished.

Firefighters had to use four-wheel-drive vehicles and walk long distances to get to the fire, Mr. Piringer said.

There were no injuries. The fire encroached on some abandoned structures, but there was no significant damage. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


Sprint car crash into tree kills boy, 11

An 11-year-old Caroline County boy died after crashing a sprint car into a tree, state police said.

Gregory Patrick Shoonover of Preston was driving the car in his family’s yard Saturday when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.



Motorcyclist rescued after fall into channel

Two sailors plunged into 52-degree water to rescue a motorcyclist who was thrown into the Hampton Roads Channel when he crashed into a Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel wall Saturday morning.

State police Sgt. Michelle Cotten said Brian Anthony Davis of Grand Rapids, Mich., also a sailor, was in critical condition Saturday at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. She said Mr. Davis, 22, was speeding on Interstate 64 when he lost control of the motorcycle and slammed into the wall.

Sailors Jason Murphy, 23, of Jacksonville, Fla.; Edgar Ardon, 22, of Glen Oak, Calif.; and Elisandro Leal, 22, of League City, Texas, were driving behind Mr. Davis and saw the crash. They pulled over and spotted Mr. Davis face down in the water about 25 feet from the bridge.

“Once we saw him in the water, we knew we had to do something to help,” Mr. Leal said.

Mr. Leal stayed with his vehicle and used a cell phone to call police while Mr. Murphy and Mr. Ardon jumped into the water and pulled Mr. Davis ashore. Mr. Ardon began cardiopulmonary resuscitation and revived Mr. Davis, who was stabilized after paramedics arrived.

“I just told him to keep breathing and to relax,” Mr. Ardon said. “We wanted to reassure him that everything was going to be OK.”

Mr. Murphy, Mr. Ardon and Mr. Leal are temporarily stationed aboard the carrier Carl Vinson. Mr. Davis is stationed aboard the carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower.


Another fish kill reported on James

State biologists are looking into a possible fish kill on the James River in Rockbridge County.

A fisherman reported that he spotted about 20 dead smallmouth bass in the river between Balcony Falls and Snowden on March 16. Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Bill Hayden said the fisherman reported what he saw late Wednesday night.

Similar fish kills have occurred every spring on the Shenandoah and other rivers, including the James, since at least 2004. Scientists aren’t sure of the cause, but a combination of pollutants and pathogens is one possibility. They also are examining whether heavy metals or pesticides could be killing the fish.



Shots fired into car carrying 6-year-old

A Dagsboro man fired a shotgun at a car carrying a 6-year-old boy after a dispute with the two adults in the car, state police said.

Seth Svenson, 29, and a man and woman had been drinking at a party and returned to Mr. Svenson’s home on Cherrylog Road at about 4 a.m. Saturday when an argument began, police said.

Mr. Svenson punched the woman in the side of a head, then threatened the man and woman with a knife, police said. The pair tried to drive away with the woman’s 6-year-old son, but in a panic, the man hit Mr. Svenson’s house.

That is when Mr. Svenson began firing at the car with a shotgun, police said. Police later found three spent shotgun rounds.

Mr. Svenson is charged with nine felonies, including four counts of aggravated menacing and three misdemeanors. He is being held at Sussex Correctional Institute in lieu of $49,000 secured bail.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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