1 killed in tractor-trailer wreck Rig overturns on ramp to I-795 from the Beltway

July 21, 1998|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

An 18-wheel tractor-trailer hauling more than 22 tons of paper overturned as it was about to enter northbound Interstate 795 from the inner loop of the Baltimore Beltway near Pikesville yesterday afternoon, killing its passenger and seriously injuring the driver, state police said.

The accident, which occurred about 5: 10 p.m. -- a peak hour during the evening commute -- caused heavy rush-hour traffic on the inner loop of the Beltway to back up about three miles to U.S. 40, police said.

They said inner-loop traffic bound for northbound I-795 was detoured about a mile onto nearby Reisterstown Road, then over the Beltway and down the outer loop to I-795.

Traffic using the outer loop of the Beltway was slowed because of rubber-necking motorists, who could see the demolished rig above them, lying on its right side against a guardrail about 100 yards before I-795, police said.

Tfc. Tracy Hart of the Golden Ring barracks said the accident apparently occurred when the rig's unsecured load of 12 large rolls of coiled paper, each weighing 3,680 pounds, apparently shifted to the right on the curve leading from the ramp onto I-795 and caused the Kenworth tractor to overturn. The rig landed on the passenger's side and skidded to a halt against the guardrail.

Pronounced dead at the scene was Carl Freeman Hodge, 53, of the 8200 block of Arrowhead Road in Randallstown, Hart said.

The driver, Anthony E. Jones, 45, of the 4000 block of Raleigh Road in Milford Mill, suffered facial and head injuries and was flown by state police MedEvac helicopter to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, Hart said. Jones was listed in serious condition.

"Mr. Jones was conscious and has discussed the accident with me," Hart said.

The accident occurred two to three miles from the homes of the two men.

Hart said that when the rig, pulling a Schneider National trailer based in Dundalk, overturned, Hodge was partially thrown out of the tractor and was crushed between the tractor and the guardrail.

"He never had a chance," Hart said.

He said Jones managed to crawl out of the tractor's open window and drop several feet to the ground, as startled motorists sped by, narrowly missing the rig. Some motorists stopped to aid the occupants, Hart said. The rig left more than 100 feet of skid marks.

Hart said the rig had left Locust Industries in the 4700 block of Hollins Ferry Road in Lansdowne and was headed for Sweetheart Cup Co. Inc. in Owings Mills.

Twelve pieces of Baltimore County fire apparatus, including two ambulances, responded to the scene. Eastbound and westbound Beltway traffic was slowed by the emergency equipment rushing to the scene from three directions. There was no fire.

Shortly after the crash, state police traffic investigators were reconstructing the accident scene to determine the rig's speed and other factors.

Mike Tauber, owner of Tauber's Towing Service in Linthicum, stood by waiting for the paper to be off-loaded onto another tractor-trailer before his massive, heavy-duty tow trucks righted the wreckage and hauled it away.

He said, "If we tried to right it with all that paper rolling around in there, the weight of the paper would shift again and take our tow trucks with it down the embankment."

Pub Date: 7/21/98

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