High-speed police chase on I-95 ends with crash at Md. rest stop

Van hits parked truck, injuring both drivers

January 09, 2000|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

A New York man accused of leading a state trooper on a high-speed chase on Interstate 95 was critically injured yesterday when his van smashed into a parked tractor-trailer at a Maryland rest stop.

State police said they recovered about 2 pounds of marijuana in eight bags from his van, as wekk as 180 grams of cocaine. No charges had been filed last night.

The accident occurred about 2: 15 p.m. in the Chesapeake House parking lot, off Interstate 95 near North East in Cecil County, state police said. It forced some travelers to evacuate the tourist stop with their cars after the tractor-trailer's diesel gas tank ruptured, said state police Cpl. Michael T. Gavel.

The chase began when Tfc. Brett Racine tried to pull over a Mazda van with New York license plates for following traffic too closely while it was traveling south on I-95 just north of Route 272 near North East.

The van's driver immediately sped up, leading Racine on a 4-mile chase at speeds that exceeded 90 mph, the trooper said.

At one point, the van headed for the Route 272 exit, but veered back onto the highway, cutting through a construction zone and hitting several orange traffic cones, Racine said.

The chase continued south on I-95 as the van sped ahead, weaving in and out of traffic, he said. By the time Racine reached the Chesapeake House, he found that the van had pulled into the rest stop and had slammed into a tractor-trailer in the parking lot.

"The truck driver was just parked at the rest stop," said Racine, a 3 1/2-year veteran.

The driver of the van -- R. W. Chevannes Jr., 29, of the Bronx, N.Y. -- was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore with multiple injuries, including broken legs and broken knees. He was in critical condition last night, police said.

Chevannes had a suspended New York driver's license, Gavel said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer -- Cornelius Moore, 44, of Forest City, Ark. -- also was injured when a television set in his truck was jarred loose in the accident and hit him in the head. He was taken to Harford Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released.

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