1 killed, 11 injured in crash on I-895 Van plunged off road to avoid hitting car

February 18, 1997|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF Sun staff writers Peter Hermann and John Rivera contributed to this article.

One man was killed and 11 people were injured -- at least four of them seriously -- when a van carrying Chinese actors plummeted down an embankment on Interstate 895 near Halethorpe yesterday afternoon after swerving to avoid a car, police said.

The accident occurred about 2: 05 p.m. as two vans carrying a group of travelers -- described by police as actors from a Chinese film troupe -- headed east on I-895 on their way to Atlantic City, N.J.

Liu Huai Zheng, 65, died when the van in which he was riding with 11 other Chinese nationals crashed near Washington Boulevard, said Kerry Brandt, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Transportation Authority. The second van was not hit; no one in that van was injured.

"The two vans had pulled over to the shoulder and were attempting to get back on the highway when a car came driving down the right-hand lane," Brandt said. "The van swerved back onto the shoulder in an attempt to avoid [being hit] and it went down the embankment."

Officials said Zheng was pronounced dead at the scene. Battalion Chief Patrick Kelly, a spokesman for the Baltimore County Fire Department, said four others were seriously injured.

"They had severe head injuries and internal bleeding," Kelly said. "The others had minor injuries like scrapes and bruises."

Of the five women and six men injured in the crash:

He Ling was in serious condition and Dia Yoa was in stable condition at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

Zeng Li was in guarded condition at St. Agnes Hospital.

Wi Min and Tony Ping were in stable condition at Harbor Hospital Center.

Zhing Zhenheng, Cecilia Limwan Sheung and the driver of the crashed van, Gho Hua Guo, were taken to the University of Maryland Medical Center emergency room; their conditions were unavailable.

Shuhui Wang was taken to Sinai Hospital, where she was being evaluated last night.

Two people, whose names and conditions were unclear last night, were taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Ages of those injured ranged from mid-20s to 60s, Kelly said. The car the van swerved to avoid was not hit, police said.

One speaks English

Complicating the rescue, officials said, was that only one of the people -- a man traveling in the second van -- speaks any English.

Last night that man, Xing Ho, was being driven to the hospitals where the injured were being treated in an attempt to gather more information about the accident.

"It's been slow going," Brandt said. "Mr. Ho's English is somewhat limited."

Limited information

Although she could not give conditions of individual patients last night, Joan S. Shnipper, spokeswoman for University of Maryland Medical Systems, said the conditions of the patients there ranged from good to serious.

After hearing reports of the accident, people called the hospital to offer translation services, Shnipper said.

Pub Date: 2/18/97

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