Freyda Epstein: Age 46 | Cause Of Death: CAR CRASH


(Died: May 19, 2003)

Berkeley folk musician killed in Virginia crash

A folk musician from Berkeley, Calif. was killed in a head-on crash with a car driven by a man who had allegedly beat and stabbed his girlfriend, police said Monday. The man was also killed. Freyda Epstein, 46, who recorded and toured with the group Trapezoid, was killed early Saturday on U.S. 29 when a car driven by Richard Eugene Brock, 41, crossed the road and hit her rental car head-on. Police believe Brock may have intentionally crossed into Epstein’s path. “There were no skid marks, and the angle across the median took him straight to Epstein’s car,” Trooper V.A. Velasquez said. “It may have been a suicide attempt or an attempt to throw off police. We’ll never know.” Earlier, Penelope Pelkey, 38, was stabbed and beaten by Brock at her home in Standardsville, Pelkey told police. They left the house and drove to a convenience store in Madison, where Brock allegedly began to beat her before he fled, leaving her at the store. Pelkey was listed in serious condition Monday at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. Epstein, a Boston native, was a member of Trapezoid, a group based in Elkins, W.Va., from 1980 to 1988. She played violin and sang. “During that time we did probably over 1,000 concerts and made three albums together,” said Paul Riesler, leader of the group. “She was a remarkable singer.” Epstein, who lived in Charlottesville in the 1990s, was on her way to visit fellow musicians there. Epstein moved to California a few years ago and was a lead choral director for the World Harmony Chorus. A memorial service for Epstein will be held Wednesday in Charlottesville. ~(05-19) 18:40 PDT MADISON, Va. (AP) —