Deborah A. Limmer, 60, and Delaney M. Gaddis, 5, were struck by a vehicle and killed recently in Lutherville-Timonium. The Baltimore County Police responded to the scene at approximately 7 a.m. on Girdwood Rd. near Dulaney High School. Callie N. Schwarzman, 22, was the driver of the vehicle that struck the pedestrians after running off of the road. She has been charged with driving while intoxicated and she had a warrant for her arrest in Carroll County.
Limmer was walking and pushing Gaddis along in a stroller at the time when Schwartzman's 2003 Kia model SUV exited the roadway and collided when them. They were both pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the local hospital. After the collision, the vehicle veered back onto the road and stopped just prior to the next intersection of Londonderry Road.
Joe Harnett and his wife live near the scene of the accident, which they described as being “horrific.” They heard the loud sound of the impact and attempted to assist the victims. When they approached the girl she appeared to still be breathing. Schwarzman initially stated that her car had a mechanical failure involving her power steering.
Reactions From Friends & Co-Workers
Limmer had been a nurse at Baltimore's 500-bed Sinai Hospital for roughly 28 years. She had worked in the intensive care unit for many of those years. Bette A. Nunn, a nurse manager that had worked with Limmer, said that she was an example of “professionalism, compassion, and love of family.” She was also described as being extremely helpful in assisting new employees to become acclimated to the facility.
The case against Schwarzman has been compiled with assistance from the Assistant State Attorney for Baltimore County. Schwarzman apparently has a lengthy history of dangerous driving with many traffic violations including a prior charge for operating while intoxicated and driving without a current operator's license. The list of current charges she faces in this incident includes the following:
- Operating under the influence of alcohol
- Operating under the influence of a controlled substance
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Vehicular homicide and others
Recent Pedestrian Injury Data
Data from the Governors Highway Safety Association's Spotlight on Highway Safety report indicates that close to 6,000 pedestrian fatalities are occurring annually across the country. Between January 2017 and June 2017 there were approximately 41 pedestrian fatalities in Maryland alone. The state ranks about average in comparison to others, having the 26th highest rate of pedestrian deaths. The Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that since 2009 the volume of such accidents has risen by about 46%. The Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department numbers show that as of May 2018, the number of total traffic-related fatalities in D.C. is approximately 20% greater than at the same time in 2017.
Efforts to Curtail the Problem
Across the state of Maryland education campaigns such as “Street Smart” and “Walk Smart” have been implemented to increase awareness regarding pedestrian safety. In certain areas of high pedestrian traffic, state funds were allocated to conduct more rigid speed limit enforcement. David Harkey, representing the IIHS, explained that new designs for pedestrian-friendly roads are underway and better lighting is also a helpful measure.