The 23-year-old driver of a 1988 Ford Mustang was killed and two of his passengers were severely injured when the car crashed into the rear of a truck on Route 140 in Finksburg early yesterday.
Reginald Allen Byrns Jr., of the 300 block of Buck Cash Drive, was pronounced dead at the accident scene on Baltimore Boulevard near Dede Road after the 12:55 a.m. crash.
His body was taken to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore for an autopsy.
Both passengers were flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, according to state police.
Craig A. Mullineaux, 19, of the 1300 block of Bachman Valley Road, and Shawn David Burgess, 17, of the first block of Pennsylvania Ave. were taken to the trauma center in a state police MedEvac helicopter.
Mr. Mullineaux, who was in the front passenger seat of the Mustang when the vehicle struck the rear of the truck, was in serious and stable condition yesterday afternoon.
Mr. Burgess was in critical and stable condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
He was a passenger in the rear of the car and was not wearing a seat belt, police said.
Officers said the Mustang struck the rear of a 1983 Autotruck that had pulled onto Route 140 from a gasoline station and driven about 100 feet in the right lane before the accident.
Investigators said the Mustang was traveling in the passing lane when it suddenly swerved to the right and collided into the rear of the truck. The truck driver, James H. Stonesifer, 61, of the 4200 block of Old Hanover Road, Westminster, was not injured.
Police said alcohol and speed contributed to the crash, which was the second fatal accident this week on Finksburg's half-mile-long Route 140 commercial strip.
A 64-year-old Baltimore man died at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center about three hours after his automobile was struck at almost the same location at 7:15 p.m. Monday.
Louis P. Woodfolk drove his 1990 Jaguar from a used sports car dealership into the path of a northbound Mercury Grand Marquis driven by John A. McCarthy, 68, of Finksburg.
Mr. McCarthy was flown to Shock Trauma in a second state police MedEvac helicopter. His condition was serious and stable yesterday.
Several merchants on Route 140, who asked not to be identified, said they believe speed is the cause of many of the accidents on the heavily traveled road, despite police patrols.
Sgt. Steve Reynolds, public information officer at the Westminster state police barracks, said two traffic fatalities occurred on Route 140 last year. One was a pedestrian who was struck near Route 91, and the second a motorist who drove into the rear of a pickup truck at Sandymount Road, he said.
In 1993, the latest year for which complete statistics are available, four fatalities occurred along Route 140, which runs from the Baltimore County line to Frederick County. State police investigated 107 personal injury accidents and 90 property damage accidents in 1993, Sergeant Reynolds said.