11 October 2010

Family Wants Answers In Crash That Killed Teen

Update: The video version of this story is posted here.

From WJZ.com:
A family is desperate for answers into what caused the car accident that killed their 19-year-old son. They say it's taken days to get basic information from police. The wreck involved an off-duty officer.
Mike Hellgren has more on the tragedy and the investigation.
Andrew McCoy was thrown from the SUV his friend was driving. It somehow collided with a Cadillac driven by a former Baltimore City police officer, who currently works for the Annapolis Police. McCoy's family simply want a fair and full investigation.
McCoy's mother and stepfather met WJZ at the Sawmill Creek Park, a home away from home for their son.
They want to know what happened the night he died, a week ago, at the intersection of Patapsco Avenue and Potee Street.
"We received a call late Sunday night/early Monday morning that he had been involved in a very serious accident," said Andrew's stepfather Michael Schearer. 
"They told us to get to Shock Trauma ASAP," said his mother Tracy Schearer. 
For days they got few answers from police. Because of a funeral for a member of Baltimore City's accident investigation unit, the MTA initially took the case.
The family did not know an off-duty police officer was involved in the accident until four days after the crash when they read it online. It was the morning of their son's funeral.
"And that's really the first time we had heard anything about the accident at all," Michael Schearer said.
"I was mad because they didn't tell us," Tracy Schearer said.
There was anger and frustration just because we didn't know anything," Michael Schearer added.
Baltimore City Police have now taken the lead.
"One of the most important pieces in this is going to be the blood and alcohol testing that was done at the hospital," said Baltimore City police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
Guglielmi says those test results will have to be subpoenaed and that police have to physically get them back from the lab.
"We have to be very prudent and very methodical in these cases because somebody lost their life," Guglielmi said, "and there could be the possibility of criminal charges."
Police say the officer involved, James Salyers, served 28 years in Baltimore City before retiring and joining the Annapolis force, where he's on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
"We don't have any evidence and we're not making any accusations against the police department that anything fishy happened," said Michael Schearer, "but it just makes you wonder."
So many questions now consume the Schearers as they look for closure and justice for their son.
"It's just kind of a bureaucratic snafu in terms of information coming out,"  Michael Schearer said.
"I'm glad he knew he was loved," Tracy Schearer said of her late son.
Police are still trying to figure out who ran the traffic light in this case and whether a Citiwatch camera captured any of it. Police say this information is critical.
Andrew's mother says her son's close friend, who was driving the SUV, doesn't remember anything about the crash.
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