Route 3 duel ends with fatal car crash

June 24, 2000|By Douglas Birch | Douglas Birch,SUN STAFF

A 22-year-old Severna Park man was killed yesterday when he lost control of his car during what witnesses described as a brake-slamming, lane-changing duel with another driver on Route 3 in Anne Arundel County.

Patrick Francis Smith of the 300 block of Wembly Way was trying to pull in front of a pickup truck yesterday shortly after 4 p.m. when his black 1998 Honda Civic spun around, slamming into a utility pole on the shoulder of the road, police said.

It took rescue workers about 40 minutes to remove Smith from his car, said Chief John Scholz of the county fire department. Smith was taken to North Arundel Hospital, Scholz said, where he was declared dead.

Carol Frye, a spokesman for county police, said the incident apparently began when Smith drove onto southbound Route 3 somewhere north of Route 175 in Millersville. He pulled his Civic in front of a purple pickup truck with tinted windows.

Witnesses told police that the drivers began to cut in front of each other at high speeds, weaving through the heavy afternoon traffic.

"They started this back and forth, pulling in front of each other and then putting their brakes on," Frye said.

The confrontation continued for at least a half-mile, when Smith's vehicle spun off the road in front of a mini-mall near Church View Road in Gambrills. The driver's door of the Civic slammed into a six-foot concrete wrapping around the light pole.

The driver of the pickup continued south on Route 3, towards Crofton.

Police want to talk to the driver of the pickup, Frye said. But witnesses did not recall the vehicle's tag numbers, and police have no description of the driver because of the tinted windows. Frye described the truck as a "low-rider" with clear plastic covers over its brake lights instead of the normal red plastic. Anyone with information should call Anne Arundel County police at 410-222-8611.

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