While we would all like to think that a church might be one of the safest places, there is much to be said about the dangers lurking in any vehicular traffic situation, be it a parking lot, pedestrian crossing or even a quiet street. There are hidden threats that all of these places present to drivers and pedestrians alike. As a Baltimore automobile accident attorney, I’ve certainly examined my share of pedestrian, car and truck accident scenes, but finding a fatal accident outside a church on Sunday is probably the farthest from anyone’s imagination.
That said, there is a caveat to every person who has walked through a parking area or public roadway: Be careful out there. Especially in places that give us the most comfort and feeling of security, this is where many people drop their guard and possibly increase their risk of bodily harm. While fatal pedestrian accidents may be fewer near a place of worship, the mix of people and cars means that the danger always exists. Any death is tragic, but such deadly accidents should be avoidable if all concerned are doing their part to thwart trouble.
According to a news report, two older parishioners were killed and a third person injured when a sport utility vehicle driven by 63-year-old Mary G. Camilleri suddenly accelerated in reverse hitting the three people. According to a spokesperson for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Camilleri’s vehicle slammed into another SUV and pushed it onto a sidewalk on North Seton Avenue. The vehicle then continued backwards and struck the pedestrians as they were attempting to cross the road. It came to a stop after hitting another parked car.
According to reports, 53-year-old John Cillo and Patricia Mauro-Cillo, 64, were both killed. The 89-year-old mother of Mauro-Cillo, Marian Derosa, was seriously injured.
News accounts stated that a parish nurse tried to revive John Cillo using a defibrillator kept in the church prior to the arrival of emergency personnel. Derosa was treated at the scene and then transported to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore for additional medical attention and observation.
At the time of the article, investigators for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office were planning to meet with the state’s attorney regarding possible charges against Camilleri.
Charges weighed in deaths of 2 outside Emmitsburg church, BaltimoreSun.com, August 9, 2010
Two people killed outside Emmitsburg parish, CatholicReview.org, August 10, 2010