Surviving Teen is Stable, Traffic Warning Signs Added to Ritchie Highway

Traffic warning signs appear near where two teens were struck Tuesday on Ritchie Highway, but a local business owner says most pedestrians don't cross at intersection.

Two teens, out for a night of fun, crossed a busy highway Tuesday to take in the sights and sounds of a carnival at the Earleigh Heights Fire Station in Severna Park.

In anticipation, they ran to cross Ritchie Highway. Before they made it to the median strip, . The girl, 17-year-old Kara Micciche of Pasadena, died from her injuries on Wednesday. 

Sean Snyder, 19, of Severna Park continues to recuperate from life-threatening injuries at the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

According to a family friend, Sean's mother, Laura Snyder, is a registered nurse and has been at her son's bedside since the accident. 

The two teens were leaving the Earleigh Heights Plaza shopping center and entering the roadway just south of the busy Earleigh Heights Road and Ritchie Highway intersection when they were struck by a 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by William Keith Goldman of Arnold.

Betsy Hein is the owner of the Twice Around the Park Consignment Shop, located next to the shopping center on Ritchie Highway south, directly across from where the two were struck. She said that most pedestrians don't use the intersection—it is too busy.

"It's nothing new. If they want to actually solve the problem, they need to put in a pedestrian crosswalk," she said.

A vigil for Kara was held in the small parking lot of Heim's shop on Wednesday evening. A memorial, placed in the median strip, can be seen from her shop window.

"Most everyone cuts through the parking lot (7-Eleven) because the intersection is too dangerous. I see people everyday cutting across the highway right out front," she said.

Hein said she sees many carnival workers crossing the highway and also sees the same during the Christmas tree sales season at the fire house. There are now two traffic warning signs in place on each side of Ritchie Highway, about a half mile or more from the fire house, warning motorists coming from both directions, to beware of pedestrians as they near the carnival.

There were also police cars with flashing lights at the intersection each night following the accident, said Hein.

"That was more effective," she said of the police presence.

Update on Snyder's Condition

As members of the community mourn the tragic death of Kara, they're also pulling together to give hope to the Snyder family.

The Snyders were scheduled to move back into their just completed rebuild of their home in the community of Whitehurst before the tragic accident, said George McDowell, a resident who also works with Sean's stepfather, Carl Kaiser Jr. 

He said about two dozen neighbors got together earlier this week and helped with moving the Snyders' belongings back into their newly-remodeled home.

A previous employer of Snyder spoke about his promising future.

"He seemed like a really good kid and wanted to work on vehicles," said Severna Park Automotive owner Lonny Wiezorek. "He had the ability."

Wiezorek said he was sorry to see Snyder go after only a few weeks when he was offered another job at higher pay working in a truck repair shop.

"He seemed like a very good kid. I was hoping it would work out. He has potential," said Wiezorek.

According to a post by Karen Perticone on a Facebook memorial page for Kara, Snyder's condition as of Friday afternoon remains stable:

"I just spoke with my sister, Sean's mom, and she gave me good news that Sean's vital signs are much improved today, from yesterday. He is in surgery now for the skin graft to his arm and the doctors are hopeful that his breathing tube can come out after surgery, and that they can let him come to full consciousness, if his breathing is good. Thanks to all for pulling for Sean, and once again, please know that our family wishes so much that Kara would have pulled through as well. We are heartbroken at her loss."


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