Dump truck causes wreck on Interstate 895, killing 1

Vehicle hits 6 cars as it veers across highway

January 17, 2001|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A dump truck that did not stop for a traffic jam yesterday on the Harbor Tunnel Thruway plowed into five cars before slamming into a sixth vehicle, killing a woman in the fiery crash, police said.

The accident, in the northbound lanes of Interstate 895 about a mile north of the tunnel, forced police to shut down both directions of the highway from late morning to well into the afternoon.

The woman, whose identity was not released, was killed when her 1997 Toyota Camry was struck by a 1996 International dump truck owned by Soil Safe Inc. and forced onto a concrete median divider, where it burst into flames, police and fire officials said.

Police said five people involved in the accident were taken to area hospitals with injuries believed to be nonlife-threatening.

No charges had been filed by last evening.

Accident reconstruction experts were trying to establish a cause.

"The car and the dump truck were fully involved in flames," said Cpl. Gregory Prioleau, a spokesman for the Maryland Transportation Authority Police Department.

Police said the fatal crash occurred after traffic in the northbound lanes of I-895 slowed about 11:30 a.m. because a trailer being towed by a car overturned near Eastern Avenue.

No injuries were reported in that accident.

A few minutes later, Prioleau said, the dump truck, which was in the slow lane of the highway, didn't stop for the slowed traffic near O'Donnell Street, about a half-mile south of the overturned trailer.

Prioleau said the dump truck rear-ended one car and veered across four lanes of traffic, hitting four other cars before crushing the Camry against the median barrier and forcing it to straddle the wall.

The woman, the sole occupant of the car, was trapped inside as the vehicle went up in flames. The fire then spread to the dump truck. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the truck, identified by his company as Johnny Bush, was in fair condition at an area hospital, officials said.

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