Accidents on Beltway in Catonsville leave one man dead, eight hospitalized Two crashes snarl traffic on outer, inner loops

November 22, 1996|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

Two accidents within a half-mile of each other on the Baltimore Beltway in Catonsville yesterday evening left one person dead and eight injured and caused major traffic jams on the inner and outer loops, state police said.

The name of the dead man, a 29-year-old Catonsville resident, and the names of the injured were not immediately available.

A Baltimore County Fire Department dispatcher said eight people were taken to three hospitals by ambulances from several county fire stations.

The dispatcher said six people were taken to Sinai and St. Agnes hospitals and an adult and a child were transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore City by a state police MedEvac helicopter.

The causes of the crashes were being investigated by state police at the Golden Ring barracks in White Marsh.

The first accident occurred about 6: 41 p.m. on the outer loop of Interstate 695 between Frederick Road and Wilkens Avenue when a pickup truck stopped or slowed down and was struck from behind by a heavy truck that crushed the smaller vehicle, killing its occupant, police said.

A county Fire Department official said it took rescuers at least an hour to cut off the top of the pickup truck to free the dead person from the wreckage.

Two other vehicles, a van and a car swerved to avoid the wreckage and collided, causing the van to overturn on the shoulder of the road.

The occupants were pulled from the vehicles by other motorists.

Because of the crashes, the heavy rush-hour traffic backed up beyond Interstate 70 in Woodlawn as ambulances and fire apparatus sped to the crash site, police said.

Motorists who were caught between the accident scene and Frederick Road were allowed by police to make U-turns on the outer loop and get off I-695 at the Frederick Road on-ramp.

In the second accident, which occurred at 6: 54 p.m., police said at least two vehicles collided on the inner loop of the Beltway near the Wilkens Avenue ramp, injuring an unknown number of people and causing traffic to back up more than 2 miles.

"It's total gridlock out there," said a state police dispatcher at the Golden Ring barracks more than three hours after the two accidents.

By 11 p.m., the outer loop's three lanes were open as were the inner loop's four lanes, police said.

Pub Date: 11/22/96

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