3 die in accidents on I-97, Route 100 Police blame deaths on excessive speed, lack of seat belts

August 20, 1996|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

Excessive speed and lack of seat belts were to blame for three deaths in two accidents that occurred almost simultaneously Sunday on Interstate 97 near Annapolis and Route 100 in Pasadena, state police said.

Nathan Wells, 18, of the 900 block of Royal St. in Annapolis and Kenneth Savoy, 22, of the 600 block of Island Creek Court in Annapolis were pronounced dead at the scene in the I-97 accident. Brian Lomax, 18, of the 1900 block of E. Copeland St. in Annapolis, a passenger in their vehicle, was treated for minor injuries at Anne Arundel Medical Center and released.

Matthew Brian Brooks, 29, of the 200 block of Windy Ridge Court in Pasadena was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he died from injuries suffered in the Route 100 accident.

Police said Wells was driving south on I-97 about 10: 45 p.m. when he lost control of the 1978 Chevrolet Suburban just north of U.S. 50, skidded onto the right shoulder, returned to the roadway and crossed both lanes of traffic onto the left shoulder.

The vehicle struck a brick retainer wall for the U.S. 50 overpass and flipped over, throwing Wells and Savoy, a front-seat passenger, onto the road, police said. Neither was wearing a seat belt.

Both were run over by a 1996 Dodge Caravan and a 1987 Ford Mustang, police said. Neither of those drivers was charged, police said.

At about the same time on Route 100 just west of Lake Waterford Road, Brooks was driving east in a 1992 Nissan Sentra passing other eastbound traffic when he lost control of the car, skidded off the right side of the road and slammed into several trees, police said.

Brooks, who was not wearing a seat belt, suffered head and internal injuries when he was ejected, police said. He was flown by MedEvac helicopter to Shock Trauma, where he died.

Officers said alcohol and speed were factors in the first accident, and speed a factor in the second accident. They said all the men's lives might have been saved if they had been wearing seat belts.

"Had the operators been wearing some safety restraint, it would have lessened the severity of the injuries," said Sgt. Robert Smith, who noted that Maryland law requires drivers and passengers to use seat belts.

"Wearing seat belts can save you money, and they can save your life," Smith said.

Pub Date: 8/20/96

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