West Side Tragedy

After nearly 3 weeks in intensive care, Howie Carver, age 12 passed away at Baltimore General. Howie and his friends Tootsie and Avon were exploring an abandoned house on the West Side, a common activity for the West side Youths, when they were attacked by a foreign insect described as a Thai Black Fly. Each of the three children received thousands of bites; doctors estimated that the bites covered on average 80% of their skin. Young Tootsie had an immediate severe reaction to the bites and died a couple of days later as a result of complications from anaphylaxis. The other two children, Avon and Howie, died from secondary infections.

The City of Baltimore has cleared the site of the incident and has begun inspecting abandoned and derelict buildings in the city. The process has been slower than the city would like, as the inspectors require a police escort while performing the inspections. There have been a number of altercations between the inspectors and squatters of various types. Although no other infestations like this one have been found, there have been several sites that have needed hazmat teams to clear them.

The lawsuit between the parents of the children and the City of Baltimore has been resolved at an undisclosed amount in a sealed settlement.


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