NORTH EAST, Md. — Three children and a man were killed, and a woman and a child are in critical condition following a two-car accident Thursday night in Cecil County.
A few pieces from the wreckage, police markings across both lanes of Mechanics Valley Road and a modest memorial made up of flowers on a nearby embankment are the only evidence of a crash that brought Sharon Holotanko out of her home to try to save lives.
Despite decades spent working in an emergency room, she still struggles with her emotions after the deadly crash that claimed the life of four victims.
"They're always heartbreaking,” said Holotanko, “No one wants to see a loved one go."
Lieutenant Michael Holmes of the Cecil County Sheriff's Office says an SUV carrying two adults and four children crossed the center line and spun into the path of an oncoming truck.
They say a 4-year-old boy was pronounced dead at the scene. A 10-year-old girl was transported to Union Hospital where she died. A 9-year-old boy was taken to Union Hospital and then flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital in critical condition before he was pronounced dead by medical personnel. And a 13-year-old boy was flown to A.I. DuPont Hospital in Delaware in critical condition.
At last report, the driver of the SUV, 53-year-old Mary Shackelford, remains at the Shock Trauma Center in critical condition, and it's not clear if the grandmother is aware three family members did not survive the crash, which is taking its toll on Elkton and nearby North East.
"Being a small town, this impacts us in so many ways,” said Holmes, “Obviously, the families of everyone involved are deeply impacted, but also their friends, the schools where the children attend, the first responders were impacted by this, so it does have a big impact on the community."
Holotanko says paramedics could not hold back their tears at the crash site, as they rushed to save lives of the victims, young and old.
"The paramedics were effected,” said the Good Samaritan, “I am so proud to live in Cecil County that we had such good first responders and CCSO, the police, everybody was fantastic."
Emergency personnel from Cecil County Department of Emergency Services Paramedics, North East Fire Company, Singerly Fire Company, Charlestown Fire Company, Maryland State Police, and Delaware State Police all responded to the crash. The road was closed following the accident so that crash scene reconstructionists could investigate the scene. Anyone with information about the crash should contact the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office at 410-996-5500 and refer to case number 19-41663.