The driver of a pickup truck and three men riding in the truck's bed were critically injured when they were thrown into a ravine between the Northwest Expressway and the Metro tracks near the Baltimore Beltway in an evening rush-hour accident yesterday.
The 4:30 p.m. collision of the truck and a car created a nightmare for commuters, as rescue workers blocked off the northbound lanes of the expressway -- Interstate 795 -- from the Beltway to Owings Mills Boulevard for nearly three hours. The Metro train that runs along I-795 was closed down for about two hours, and southbound I-795 was closed intermittently, said Chuck Jackson, state police spokesman.
The backup also spread south to both loops of the Beltway, and drivers taking Reisterstown and Liberty roads as alternatives jammed those roads as well.
Police said the pickup truck, which was carrying three men in the cab and three in the bed, collided with the car as both were traveling north on I-795, just past the Beltway. Five of the six truck passengers and the car's driver and passenger were injured.
The two vehicles slammed into the concrete barriers on a section of the highway that passes over a ravine about 30 feet deep, Mr. Jackson said.
The bed of the pickup truck broke away from the cab and plunged over the barrier into the ravine, Mr. Jackson said. The driver was thrown from the cab and over the barrier as well.
Mr. Jackson said the victims just missed falling on the Metro track, a few feet from the highway.
After rescue workers pulled the men from the wreckage, they rigged up a rope-and-pulley system to a crane and hauled each man in a metal stretcher up to the highway.
Flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center were truck passengers Boris Glispy, 39, of Cherry Hill Road; Kevin Greene, 27, of Fairfax Road; Gregory Herring, 27, of North Register Street; Frank Lawson, 26, of North Mount Street; and driver Kenneth Hardrick, 44, of The Alameda. Another passenger, Charles Lowery, 40, of North Gilmor Street, did not suffer serious injuries.
The driver of the car, 16-year-old Jennifer Lynn Kolb, and her 39-year-old mother, Jacqueline Louise Newhouse, both of Westminster, were taken by ambulance to Baltimore County General Hospital, Mr. Jackson said.
Ms. Kolb was treated and released, and her mother was in stable condition last night, hospital officials said.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.