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#23 Jul 2, 2009
I'm late posting this as I left on vacation the morning after this tragic accident. My family and I were one of the first on the scene after it occurred. I'm not a professional, didnt see the accident actually occur and can only report what I saw and experienced.
First, my condolences to all involved...the victims and their families. There are no words that anyone can say to help you through this difficult time and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
I do not know what caused Ms. Falanga's car to cross the center line but it absolutely did. The other car was completely in it's lane and no where near the center line, while Ms. Falanga's car was on their side of the road.
To the friends of the 59 year old who was pronounced dead at the scene, you can take some comfort and know that she did not suffer. We approached the car immediately and could see just how bad it was. Not to be morbid but the entire front of the car was crushed in on her and she seemed unconscience. We felt for a pulse and there was a slight one, but she didn't respond to us in any way. She showed no signs of pain or anything else. By the time the paramedics arrived, she had passed as they felt no pulse. Perhaps knowing she didn't suffer will help put your mind at ease...just a little. Again, I'm very sorry for your loss.
Regarding the 81 year old female, I was shocked to learn that she later passed away. She was alert, talking with us, and wanting to get out of the car. We had to calm her down and ask her not to move so that she didn't injure herself further. Obviously, the injuries were internal as my opinion was that she was the least injured of everyone in the car.
The gentleman in the back seat (81 year olds husband) had not been wearing a seatbelt and had been thrown forward and was jammed under the windshiedl and between the dash. He was conscious but severely injured.
I was also surprised to learn that Ms. Falanga was seriously injured as she sat in her car but seemd to be conscious and not in any discomfort.
I do know that if I'm ever in such a severe car accident, that it does not occur in this area. It seemed to take forever for the ambulance to arrive. It was at least 20 minutes, closer to 1/2 hour from the time we called 911. My heart ached for those poor people who were hurt and scared and had to wait all that time to get out of the car.
It was absolutely the most helpless I have ever felt in my entire life and something that I couldn't stop thinking about during my entire vacation. I don't know what happened and why Ms. Falanga crossed that center line. But the results were devastating and something I hope never to witness ever again.
Again, my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their family's. May God Bless you and yours.
#24 Jul 2, 2009
Thank you "Eyewitness" from Bel Air for sharing your experience. What you saw is horrible. This accident was the second of that week. Another one had occured on Friday night when a motorcyclist was pretty badly injured. This past Sunday, June 28, we had another accident again involving motorcylists. Three accidents in a little over a week. No one knows what happened to the injured in either the Friday or Sunday accidents. On the Sunday accident, one of the neighbors had to create a roadblock and detour on Md Rt 439. She had to do it without flares or emergency equipment, vests etc.
I personally came across an accident late one night where an individual lost control of his vehicle, hit a telephone pole splitting it and pulling wires down on the road. That evening it took the emergency responders a 1/2 hour to respond. Fortunately, the individual was ok despite the fact he rolled his car and ended up in a field. Despite another individual's efforts a tractor trailer would not stop and pulled the wires completely down onto the roadway. Luckly another tractor trailer did respond to the individuals efforts to stop the traffic and was willing to block the lane. Despite a string of vehicles stopped on the road, late at night one of the westbound cars attempted to pass the stopped traffic and only when the flagger stopped
him again the individual still wanted to go through. After explaining about the wires on the road did the individual back back into the line of westbound traffic.
Eventually the EMT's arrived and the individual was evaluated and determined he did not need to go to the hospital. However, it is interesting that the individual in the accident admitted to us and later the police he was 17 years old and he had been driving over 70 mph when he lost control of his vehicle. The speed for the area was marked 35 mph. That means he was doing 35 miles over the posted speed limit. I believe he received a ticket, but he did take RESPONSIBILITY for his actions. He was one lucky young man and he realized it that evening last spring.
No one should ever have to experience what so many families have had to experience as a result of accidents on MD RT 439. My heart and prayers go out to the victims and their families.
#25 Jul 9, 2009
Dear Eyewitness. I want to thank you for everything you did that evening. We lost a wonderful person that evening & our hearts still ache for her. It takes (some) comfort in knowing Barb did not suffer. I have for weeks wondered if she did. I can't imagine seeing such a horrific accident & handling it the way you did. Barb will look out for you & your loved ones, as that's the kind of person she is. We will forever miss our beautiful friend but can have some peace in knowing what you told us.
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