On September 16, 2004 at 7:16 pm, units from the Calvert County Sheriffs Office responded to the intersection of Maryland Route 2/4 and Calvert Beach Road, St. Leonard, Maryland for a reported serious auto crash.
Investigation revealed a blue 2003 Pontiac Vibe, operated by Elizabeth Ellen Gatton, 61 years old of St. Leonard, Maryland, was traveling south on Maryland Route 2/4 at Calvert Beach Road and was attempting to make a left turn onto Calvert Beach Road. Ms. Gatton failed to yield the right of way to a red 2001 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck, operated by Mark Jeffrey Cheatham, 44 years old of Lusby, Maryland that was traveling north in lane #2 (slow lane) of Maryland Route 2/4. The red Chevrolet pick-up truck struck the passengers side of the Pontiac Vibe. The red Chevrolet pick-up truck then traveled north east, striking a white 1998 Volvo station wagon, operated by Traci Lynn Santangelo, 37 years old, of St. Leonard, Maryland, that was stopped for the red light in the westbound lane of Calvert Beach Road.
Elizabeth Ellen Gatton was transported to Calvert Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead from head injuries sustained in the collision. Mark Cheatham was transported to Calvert Memorial Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and was later released. Traci Santangelo and two (2) ten year old juveniles, who were also in the Volvo, were uninjured in the collision.
A preliminary investigation into the crash revealed the red Chevrolet Pick-up truck, operated by Mark Cheatham had a green light and the Pontiac Vibe operated by Elizabeth Gatton had a flashing red arrow and was required to yield to on coming traffic while making a left turn.
During the investigation it was also discovered that Ms. Gatton was an immediate family member of a Calvert County Sheriffs Deputy. Based on one of the operators being a relative of a member of the Calvert County Sheriffs Office, Charles County Sheriffs Office Collision Reconstruction Team responded to the scene to complete the reconstruction portion of the investigation. Sgt. T. Ireland, Cpl. A. Moschetto and Dfc Wahlgren of the Calvert County Sheriffs Office Reconstruction Team are assisting in the investigation.
This investigation is ongoing.