First Big Story

When I was in college at University of Maryland, in the summer of 1997 I had an internship with Cable News 21, a public access station. I like to tell folks that I worked with Darcy Spencer, who has been working for News 4 for years now.

We got a report that there was a motorcycle accident on Randolph Road, so a videographer and I rode down there. On the way, we saw a house that had multiple police cars outside. We decided to check out the accident first, then return the same way to see what was happening at that house.

We went to Randolph Road and sure enough, someone had died in the motorcycle accident. We took some footage, then headed back to the station, while riding past that house on the way.

When we got there, multiple media outlets were arriving. Five people had died inside from carbon monoxide poisoning because a car was left on in the garage. We called the station and another (experienced) reporter came down as this was a bit much for an intern to handle.

The scene amazed me, as I got to see a bunch of reporters show up to cover this story. The police spokeswoman, Ann Evans (may she rest in peace – she died at age 40), answered everyone’s questions, and she was one of the few people I remember working with decades later.

Once in a while I think of that family and the media mob-scene outside. It’s not anything I’ll ever forget. I found articles about it on The Washington Post’s site and the Associated Press’s site.

Though I majored in broadcast journalism, I found it wasn’t for me. TV wasn’t my thing, and radio seemed antiquated. I was lucky the Internet came around, which preserves those articles from decades past.