A 3-month-old Calvert County infant died Saturday, two days after a car crash in St. Mary’s that seriously injured her young parents, police report, along with another motorist involved in the collision on Route 235 south of Lexington Park.
Emma Leigh Clarke was taken to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington following Thursday’s 10:32 p.m. crash, according to the St. Mary’s sheriff’s office, while Alexa Taylor Smith and Jamie Lee Clarke, the child’s parents living in Owings, were transported to an area trauma center. A fundraising website page states that Smith and Clarke later were released from the trauma center, but that the baby died at 1:42 a.m. Saturday at the children’s hospital.
As of Tuesday morning, almost $13,000 of a $15,000 goal had been reached through the fundraising effort initiated by Whitney Dunn DeCesaris in Huntingtown.
“In Emma’s short 3 months of life, she brought so much joy to so many lives and was loved beyond words,” DeCesaris wrote on the gofundme web page. “Her parents’ world revolved around Emma. My heart aches for this family as they begin to deal with a parent’s worst nightmare, losing their child.”
Last Thursday night, the sheriff’s office reports, Smith, 23, was driving a 2008 Honda Civic south on the highway in St. Mary’s, accompanied by Clarke, 24, and their baby, when she tried to make a U-turn and collided with a southbound 2013 Ford Escape driven by 39-year-old John Wesley Lonkert of the Scotland community. The Honda went into the highway’s northbound lane, the sheriff’s office reports, and collided with a 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe driven by Joseph Dennis Spalding, 58, of Hollywood.
“The woman made the U-turn in the fog,” St. Mary’s sheriff’s Capt. Steven Hall said Tuesday morning. “I don’t know whether [or not] that was a contributing factor. It was pretty thick.”
Lonkert was taken to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown with incapacitating injuries, according to a sheriff’s office release, and an agency spokesperson said this week there were no indications that Spalding required transport to a medical facility.
No charges have been reported from an ongoing investigation of the crash. The sheriff’s office has requested that anyone who may have witnessed the collision or events leading to the collision contact Deputy John Davis by calling 301-475-4200, ext. *8015, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations to assist the baby’s family can be made online at www.gofundme.com/heaven-gained-an-angel-emma-leigh-clarke.
Mechanicsville driver hospitalized after crash
A Mechanicsville man remained in a hospital Tuesday morning after law officers report he was severely injured in a crash last week in northern St. Mary’s, where the car he was driving went off a highway and struck a tree.
Sheriff’s deputies responding shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday to Thompson Corner Road found 20-year-old Kyle Andrew Capps trapped in the 2009 Ford Focus, a release states, before fire and rescue volunteers removed him from the vehicle.
The car was traveling south on the highway, according to the sheriff’s office release, and “had just negotiated a sharp curve in the area of Bethel Church Road when the operator lost control of the vehicle. The car crossed the centerline and ran off the northbound edge of the road.”
The driver was taken from the scene to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown, the release states, before he was transferred to MedStar Washington Hospital Center for further treatment.
The sheriff’s office has requested that anyone who may have witnessed the collision or events leading up to the crash to contact Cpl. Brian Connelly by calling 301-475-4200, ext. *8031, or sending email to email@example.com.