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Pregnant motorist dies in accident

Other drivers were racing, police say

A 31-year-old pregnant woman was killed yesterday when a man apparently drag racing on the Lowell Connector lost control of his car, which veered into the median strip at more than 90 miles per hour, became airborne, and landed on the woman's station wagon, police said.

The 1997 Mercury Sable that caused the crash then struck a 2000 Toyota Camry driven by a Dracut woman, who suffered what State Police officials described as minor injuries.

Emergency medical technicians tried to resuscitate the driver of the 2002 Subaru Legacy station wagon, Deborah Hornberger of Leominster, but she was pronounced dead a short time later at Saints Memorial Medical Center in Lowell, State Police said.

''Our information is that she was pregnant and that the baby did not survive," State Police Lieutenant Walter Keenan told WFXT-TV.

The driver of the Mercury, Carlos Rodriguez, 18, of Lowell, was ejected from his car and was taken to Lowell General Hospital with numerous injuries, State Police said. He was transferred to Brigham and Women's Hospital, where he was listed last night in critical condition, police said.

The driver of the Camry was identified as Oun Choun of Dracut.

No charges had been filed by last night, but the accident was under investigation, said a State Police spokesman, Trooper Thomas Ryan.

Police at the scene said that they believed the driver of the Mercury was racing with another car, possibly a Honda, and that they were searching for the other driver. The racing vehicles were headed inbound on the highway when the Mercury veered off the road and crossed into outbound traffic.

''There were two vehicles, apparently racing, coming down the Lowell Connector at speeds greater than 90 miles per hour," Keenan said.

The roadway has a reputation as a haven for illegal racing, he said.

''Unfortunately . . . the Lowell Connector has been known for this in the past, kids coming out here and drag racing," Keenan said.

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