Motorist loses control of car, is killed

January 20, 1995|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Sun Staff Writer

An unidentified man apparently burned to death early today when the car he was driving on East Cold Spring Lane near Hillen Road went out of control during a heavy downpour and crashed into a utility pole before bursting into flames, said a city traffic police officer.

Officer John Dodge of the Traffic Investigation Section said the driver, believed to be a 38-year-old north Baltimore man, was pronounced dead at the scene.

"We have a tentative identification," said Officer Dodge, "but we're going to rely on dental records to make certain."

Officer Dodge said the driver was westbound in the 1700 block of E. Cold Spring Lane, which passes through the campus of Morgan State University, around 2 a.m. during a heavy rain and was approaching the 4400 block of Hillen Road when he lost control of his 1989 Nissan 240SX, spun around at least once and entered the eastbound lane.

There, the car continued to spin before its rear end struck a utility pole.

The impact, said Officer Dodge, caused the car's gas tank to rupture and explode.

Officer Dodge said the car was immediately engulfed in flames and that the driver was unable to escape.

The collision with the utility pole, Officer Dodge said, disrupted electrical service to several street lights in the immediate area of the crash.

It was not known if any homes or buildings on the Morgan campus had electrical service knocked out.

Officer Dodge said the driver was apparently on his way to work after leaving a friend's home when the accident occurred.

He said efforts were being made to contact the victim's family in order to learn who his dentist is so dental records could be used to identify him.

From the scene, the body was removed to the state medical examiner's office, where an autopsy was set to determine the exact cause of death and if the use of drugs or alcohol may have contributed to the accident, a routine examination in most fatal accidents.

The man's death, said Officer Dodge, brought to eight the number of deaths on the city's streets so far this year, compared to five the same time last year.

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