Tragedy strikes White Flint family

Tragedy strikes White Flint family

Pictures of White Flint, old and new, show asphalt and glass towers, but it is people and families that animate the community. Some of the stories that illuminate the families break your heart.

Jan Taylor Weeks, an artist, and Linton Weeks, a former Washington Post and current NPR journalist, are typical of the middle-class families who live just west of the Sector boundaries. Linton’s writing tended toward the old southern style, and he chronicled, among other things, stories of the denizens of Hank Dietle’s Beer, a long-time “establishment” next to upscale Addie’s restaurant on Rockville Pike in the southern part of the White Flint Sector.

Their two sons, Stone, 24, and Holt, 20, grew up in White Flint, as polite, intelligent, active young men. Stone, a graduate of St. Andrews Episcopal and the University of Delaware, was a research assistant to historian Douglas Brinkley. He shared his father’s love of history and writing; his most recent project had been Brinkley’s newest book on President Teddy Roosevelt. Holt had just transferred from Eckard College to Rice University, a top-level institution in Houston, Texas which has long courted outstanding students from the White Flint area; he planned to begin classes in August. Holt played on my son’s Farmland Elementary School-based soccer team for five years; though one of the smallest players, he was also one of the best, a little dynamo. The brothers served food to the homeless on Sundays even after their admission to college.

On July 23, Stone and Holt were almost home, at the intersections of I-81 and I-66 in the Shenandoah Valley, where wisps linger from the southern life their father wrote about.  There was a little over an hour left in the grueling 22-hour drive from Houston. They drove so Stone could bring his dog along. They were headed for the publication party for Brinkley’s  Teddy Roosevelt book.

As the brothers waited in the usual traffic jam on these busy highways, a tractor-trailer slammed into their car, driving the 2007 Honda under a second trailer. A third and fourth truck also hit the accident, and the fuel tanks on one truck ruptured. The fuel ignited.

A memorial service is scheduled for 1:30 Sunday at the National Cathedral.

A Washington Post story can be found at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/30/AR2009073003984.html

The Gazette story can be found at:

http://www.gazette.net/stories/07292009/bethnew205316_32536.shtml

Barnaby Zall

Barnaby Zall

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