A 39-year-old woman was hospitalized in critical condition today following an accident on Interstate 95 in White Marsh that killed her mother and grandmother.
Police said the three were traveling south when their car, which was being driven by the granddaughter, veered off the highway and slammed into a sign pole.
Dead were Louise Cyrus, 79, of New York City, and Katherine Joan Cyrus, 63, of Hyattsville.
Katherine Cyrus' daughter, Jacqueline Ann Cyrus, of Silver Spring, was listed in critical condition at the Shock-Trauma Unit in Baltimore.
State police at the John F. Kennedy Highway barracks said the preliminary cause of the accident appears to be that the driver, Jacqueline Cyrus, fell asleep at the wheel.
Sgt. James Joyce said Louise Cyrus was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. Katherine Cyrus was flown by the state police Med-Evac helicopter to Shock-Trauma, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.
"We really don't know where they were going. We have no details yet," a state police officer at the JFK barracks said.
An investigation showed that the women were traveling south on I-95 near the Joppa Road overpass in a 1989 Buick LeSabre near White Marsh about 1:30 a.m. when the car went off the right side of the road. It careened down an embankment and crashed into a large sign pole.
The grandmother, who was wearing a seat belt, was apparently killed instantly.
The driver's mother was seated in the right rear seat and was not belted in, police said.
None was ejected from the vehicle.
Officially, police said, driver error and excessive speed were the causes of the crash.