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Chester County Press

Oxford mayor involved in collision in Rising Sun

09/17/2019 10:26AM ● By J. Chambless

Oxford mayor Lorraine Durnan Bell was involved in a collision on Sept. 12 that left a Maryland woman and her mother injured.

Lt. Michael Holmes of the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office read from a police report on Sept. 16 that Bell was driving a 2008 Chrysler Sebring north on Stevens Road in Rising Sun, Md., at about 5:25 p.m. Her vehicle crossed the center line and struck a 2019 Jeep Cherokee being driven south by Melissa Maccari, 31, of North East, Md. In Maccari’s car were her mother, Bernice Fogle, 55, and her 14-month-old daughter, who was in a child safety seat.

Lorraine D. Bell

 The impact was “nearly head-on,” Holmes said. The report reads that the responding officer at the scene, Corporal Brian Shockey, “detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverages” on Bell. She was taken by ambulance to Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del., where a blood sample was taken. Results of that blood test have not been announced. The extent of her injuries was not disclosed.

Maccari told the Chester County Press during a phone call on Sept. 16 that she suffered a broken wrist and is scheduled for surgery at Union Hospital in Elkton, Md., this week. Her mother fractured her L-2 vertebrae and her daughter sustained minor bruising, she said.

Any formal charges against Bell will be announced after the results of the blood-alcohol test are known, a process which can take several weeks, Holmes said.

In addition to her duties as Oxford Borough mayor, Bell is a third-grade teacher at the Rising Sun Elementary School in Rising Sun. She has worked there since 2001. School principal Alan Loman could not be reached for comment.

A message was left by The Chester County Press on Bell’s voice mail, but no response has been received as of Sept. 17.

Bell became the mayor of Oxford Borough after her Election Day victory on Nov. 7, 2018. A former member of the Oxford School Board, she received 391 votes, or 49 percent of the total votes, while Republican candidate Pam Benjamin earned 341 votes, or 43 percent of the total votes. After her election, Bell thanked the residents of Oxford Borough for the opportunity to serve as their mayor.

“I am so grateful and honored to have been elected as the first woman mayor of this amazing town,” she said in an email two days after the election. “‘Service before self’ is a motto that rings true in Oxford, and I look forward to serving my hometown community. Working with the Oxford Police Department, the Borough Council and the community will be my pleasure.”

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