Downpour blamed in 2 road deaths 3rd man, toll worker hit by runaway car, fatally hurt.

October 18, 1991|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Evening Sun Staff Frank D. Roylance contributed to this story.

Two men were killed in traffic accidents caused by yesterday's heavy rain, and a toll facilities worker died of injuries he received when a car broke free from a tow bar and struck him as he picked up debris along Interstate 95, State Police reported.

The storm also downed power lines, darkened street lights and traffic signals, and dumped 2.2 inches of rain at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. That ended six straight drier-than-normal months at BWI. It was the longest such spell since an eight-month dry spell that ended in January 1985.

More than 25,000 Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers lost power during the storm, but the utility said all were back in service by 5:30 a.m.

More than 45 traffic signals were knocked out in Baltimore during the storm and its aftermath. Traffic officials said all were working again today.

About 4:40 p.m. yesterday, Kenneth Edward Johnston, 48, of the 400 block of S. Smallwood St., was driving a 1986 Chevrolet Chevette east on Westminster Pike near Finksburg when the car went out of control on the rain-slicked pavement, police said. The car entered the opposite lane and crashed head-on into a 1988 Toyota 4-by-4 truck, police said.

Johnston was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The driver of the truck, Arthur Stewart Webster Jr., 46, of Sykesville, was treated for minor injuries at Carroll County General Hospital and released, police said.

About 4:12 p.m. in Anne Arundel County, Frederick Bracey, 33, of the 800 block of Brighton Place in Glen Burnie, was driving a 1986 Volvo east on Dorsey Road in Hanover when he lost control of the car in the rain and entered the westbound lane, police said.

Bracey sideswiped a 1986 Ford Thunderbird, then was struck broadside by a 1989 Ford van, police said.

Police said Bracey was taken to North Arundel Hospital, where he died at 5:15 p.m. The drivers of the other vehicles were not seriously injured, police said.

About 3 p.m. yesterday in Harford County, three toll facilities employees were removing debris from the shoulder of I-95 near the Joppa-Magnolia exit ramp, police said. Mark A. Simpson, 26, of Arnold, was driving a 1990 Toyota pickup truck north and towing a 1988 Subaru.

The Subaru broke free of the tow bar, entered the shoulder and struck Michael Brian Smallwood, 22, of the 2800 block of Belcamp Road in Bel Air, and James Rafburn Bryant Jr., 21, of Rising Sun, police said.

Smallwood was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Bryant was flown by a State Police Med-Evac helicopter to the Shock-Trauma Unit in Baltimore, where he was listed today in critical condition, police said.

The third worker, whose name was not released, was not injured.

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