Motorist standing in U.S. 50 killed by van

Man was checking his car after accident with pickup

April 25, 2000|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

A fender-bender on busy U.S. 50 led to the death of a 76-year-old motorist yesterday morning as he stood in the middle of the highway checking damage to his car.

Police said a state trooper saw cars swerving to avoid the East Baltimore man -- and was backing up his cruiser in an attempt to reach the victim seconds before he was struck by a van.

George Lawrence of the 1400 block of E. Oliver St. died at the scene.

Lawrence had been involved in a minor collision with a pickup truck in the middle eastbound lane near the Davidsonville exit about 6: 30 a.m., according to police.

Although the driver of the pickup had pulled to the shoulder of the highway, Lawrence stayed in the middle lane and got out to examine the bumper of his Toyota Corolla, said Trooper J. Snyder, who investigated the accidents.

Several drivers swerved to avoid Lawrence, narrowly missing him as they coped with the glare of sunlight facing morning commuters in the eastbound lanes.

An eastbound trooper from the Waldorf barracks, Cpl. Michael Johnson, pulled to the side of the road and was reversing on the shoulder in an effort to assist the man, Snyder said, but at that moment the van hit Lawrence and his Toyota.

"From everything we have so far, it appears the driver [of the van] was not at fault," Snyder said. The van's driver, whose name was not divulged, was not injured, police said.

An investigation of the fatality was continuing.

Police said yesterday that drivers involved in collisions should get out of the road as quickly as they safely can. "If nobody is hurt, and the vehicle is drivable, you should get over to the shoulder," Snyder said. "You want to be as far out of the lanes of traffic as you possibly can be."

Neighbors said Lawrence lived alone in an apartment building and was an active parishioner of St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church.

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