WHITE HALL, Md. (WJZ)– Two people are dead and three others injured after an ATV fell into a steep ditch early Sunday morning. It happened in the White Hall area of northern Baltimore County.
Derek Valcourt has more on the victims and how it happened.
On Vernon Road in White Hall, near a small cliff overlooking a tiny stream, flowers now mark the spot where Jeffrey Griffin, 29, of Parkton and Stephen Tracey, 30, of Hampstead died Sunday morning.
“It’s very tragic the way, it’s something that should not have happened,” said Heidi Owings, the victims’ friend.
What happened according to police was four men and one woman piled into a 2002 Polaris Ranger ATV early Sunday morning. The ATV went over the cliff into the ditch, killing Griffin and Tracey. The others were rushed to a hospital.
Friends say the group had been at a party in the heavily farmed area. One of the five called a cab. The others agreed to help him find it.
“Went on down the road on the golf cart thinking the taxi was up there and couldn’t really find the long driveway, so they figured they’ll just go ride down the road. I think the fog and all got pretty thick,” Owings said.
“It apparently was fairly dark so it’s conceivable that you could easily accidentally drive through that field and drive over that cliff into the stream,” said Lt. Rob McCullough of the Baltimore County Police.
The accident site itself is a really steep drop. It’s at least 30 feet deep, and at the bottom, there are huge concrete and metal drainage pipes.
“He was Uncle Jeff to all of his friends’ kids,” Griffin’s friend Cori Eppig said.
Eppig and her husband were business partners with Griffin, whose death they call heartbreaking. They’re joining many others, remembering him as a great man, who died trying help a friend.
“Everyone who knows him understands what I’m feeling right now,” she said. “I can’t put it into words.”
Police say so far no charges have been filed, though the accident is still under investigation.
Four hundred people are killed in ATV crashes in the U.S. every year.