Crashes make rough ride of I-95 Three truck accidents seriously injure two, jam traffic for hours

September 01, 1998|By Lisa Respers and Nancy A. Youssef | Lisa Respers and Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

It was a bad day on Interstate 95 yesterday, as three accidents -- including a fiery crash on the Millard E. Tydings Memorial Bridge -- sent two people to area hospitals with serious injuries and snarled traffic for hours in Harford and Howard counties.

The first occurred about 8: 30 a.m. in North Laurel, when an armored car driven by Alexander Jirau, 35, of Essex went out of control and flipped from the southbound to the northbound side of I-95 at the Route 216 exit.

Jirau said he was on his way to Springfield, Va., to make a pickup when he tried to pass a car and lost control, veered onto the median strip and his vehicle flipped.

"I tried to get around a car," Jirau said from Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was listed in serious condition with head and neck injuries. "I would have hit him."

Jirau's passengers, Henry Junior Fagan, 23, and John Patrick Campbell, 28, both of Baltimore, were taken to Laurel Regional Hospital and treated for minor injuries. All four northbound lanes of I-95 were closed for about 20 minutes.

A little more than an hour later, near Havre de Grace, a northbound tractor-trailer driven by Al Moore, 36, of Canada slammed into a disabled 1988 Chevy in the right lane of the bridge linking Harford and Cecil counties.

The driver of the disabled car -- M. Fofana, 28, of Philadelphia -- was in turn struck by her own vehicle.

"The car flipped over and burst into flames," said Tfc. Mike Smart of the Maryland State Police. "The tractor then also caught fire."

Fofana was flown to Shock Trauma after the 9: 54 a.m. crash, and was listed in critical condition with hip and leg injuries last night, police said. Police said Moore, who was hauling paper products, was not seriously injured.

The accident on the bridge shut down northbound lanes of I-95 for about 4 1/2 hours, Smart said. Secondary roads, such as U.S. 40, also were backed up because of traffic being diverted from the scene.

Officials barely had completed cleanup of that crash when a truck carrying medical supplies crashed into a jersey wall along the northbound lane of I-95 near Route 152 near Joppa, farther south in Harford County.

The 2: 10 p.m. crash spilled a small amount of X-ray developer in the road, officials said. Chief James W. Terrell, head of Harford County Emergency Operations, said a container in the truck car- rying radioactive material did not spill.

"What we had spill on the road was largely developing fluid, which consists of mostly water and some acidic components," Terrell said. "The container with the other substance used in X-rays also cracked but did not split open."

The driver, John David Huber, 19, of Aberdeen, was not injured.

Police said the accident shut a northbound section of the highway between White Marsh and Joppa for about two hours as hazardous materials teams cleaned up.

"There was a tremendous backup," Terrell said. "We've had a few accidents in Harford County, and they always seem to tie traffic up."

Pub Date: 9/01/98

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