Truck driver killed in I-95 collision

2-vehicle accident 30 minutes earlier near Route 22 exit injures 3

August 23, 2000|By Suzanne Loudermilk | Suzanne Loudermilk,SUN STAFF

The driver of a tractor-trailer was killed and several other people were injured in two early-morning crashes yesterday - one involving seven tractor-trailers - that tied up traffic for hours on Interstate 95 in Harford County.

Charles E. Moody Jr., 46, of Glen Burnie was pronounced dead at the scene after his tractor-trailer collided with another tractor-trailer about 4 a.m. on southbound I-95, just north of the Route 22 exit near Aberdeen, Maryland State Police said yesterday.

Moody, who was driving a tractor-trailer for Pittsburgh-based PJAX Freight Systems, ran into the last of six rigs stopped in a line while I-95 was temporarily closed for an earlier accident.

The first accident occurred at 3:30 a.m. on I-95, just south of the Route 22 exit, when a Toyota Paseo, driven by Jose M. Ruiz- Canales, 22, of Herndon, Va., collided with a Chevrolet Venture minivan driven by Shermaine Johnson, 20, of Dorchester, Mass. Both vehicles ran off the road into an embankment.

Alfredo Ruiz, a passenger in the Toyota, was airlifted to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was listed in serious condition yesterday.

Johnson and Andre M. Barnes of Boston, a passenger in the minivan, were taken to Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace.

Johnson was treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said. Barnes was taken from the hospital to Shock Trauma, where he was listed in serious condition yesterday.

The second accident, involving the tractor-trailers, occurred about a mile from the first crash site. Two tractor-trailer drivers, Julian Hernandez, 45, of Union City, N.J., and Balram Churman, 45, of Jamaica, N.Y., were taken to Harford Memorial, where they were treated and released, police said.

About 100 gallons of diesel fuel spilled after the tractor-trailer collision, mostly from the rig driven by Moody, said Clarence Ross, a crew chief for the Harford County Hazardous Materials Response Team. He said the spill was contained on the road and did not seep into any waterways.

During the cleanup, southbound I-95 was closed for 10 miles, from Route 222 in Cecil County. Traffic was diverted to U.S. 40 and then back to I-95 at the Route 543 exit near Belcamp. I-95 reopened about 10 a.m.

State police are investigating the accidents.

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