Driver avoids criminal charges in fatal crash on Bay Bridge Collision of truck, Ford killed 3 occupants in car

November 29, 1996|By Scott Wilson | Scott Wilson,SUN STAFF

The driver whose 18-wheel truck collided with a stalled Ford sedan last week on the Bay Bridge, killing all three passengers in the Ford, has received three traffic tickets but avoided criminal charges.

The Queen Anne's County state's attorney's office charged Kevin E. Hinshaw with failing to reduce speed to avoid a collision, negligent driving and failing to obey a road sign at a vehicle crossing. Hinshaw, 33, of Carver, Mass., could be fined $1,500 if convicted.

The Nov. 20 accident killed Michael Leslie Cager, 45, of Severna Park; his girlfriend, Mary Elaine Burke, 42, of Chester; and her son, Donnell, 10.

"I need some time to think about this," said Gordon Cager, one of Cager's seven siblings, who lives in Severna Park. "Right now, I'm still thinking about my brother."

Maryland Transportation Authority investigators determined that the blue Ford Tempo driven by Cager ran out of gas on the westbound span of the Bay Bridge, about 100 feet from the Eastern Shore.

Witnesses told investigators that the car was stalling as it reached the bridge, then coasted up the span without power. The bridge has no shoulder.

Road signs before the 4-mile-long Bay Bridge warn that large trucks are restricted to the right lane. But Hinshaw, a driver for Warrior Express Trucking Co., was traveling in the center lane and switched into the right lane soon after entering the bridge, investigators said.

As he did so, Hinshaw glanced into his side mirrors before noticing the blue Ford slowing in front of him with hazard lights flashing, investigators said.

Hinshaw jammed on the brakes, but the tractor-trailer skidded into the back of the small car, crushing and dragging it for several hundred feet, investigators said.

The car was so badly crushed that MdTA officials initially had difficulty determining its make.

The crash happened at 9:32 a.m., forcing police to close westbound lanes for three hours.

Pub Date: 11/29/96

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