Two injured after tractor tips on road

Mishap blocks traffic on Clarksville Pike


April 04, 2001|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

A tractor pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with heavy construction equipment tipped over on a busy Columbia road yesterday and spilled its load, causing a traffic accident in which a woman and her teen-age daughter were injured.

The accident, which occurred shortly before 5 p.m., disrupted rush-hour traffic for at least three hours, Howard County police said.

An unidentified woman suffered undetermined injuries and was airlifted by a state police MedEvac helicopter to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, said a county fire board official. A condition report was not available.

The woman's daughter, 13, was taken by ambulance to Howard County General Hospital and was later released to her father, police said. The nature of her injuries was unavailable.

The accident occurred on a slightly winding stretch of Clarksville Pike (Route 108) and left construction equipment and debris over a wide swath of the two-lane road. Police closed a 2-mile stretch of the roadway between Sheppard Lane and Harpers Farm Road, and rerouted traffic.

According to Howard County police Sgt. Frederick von Briesen, the truck was pulling a flatbed trailer east on Clarksville Pike when, for "unknown reasons," the trailer began to tip over and the motor-driven excavation machine it was carrying toppled onto the roadway, and was struck by a westbound white car.

Von Briesen said that as the trailer, with a piece of trench-digging equipment on board, continued to tip over onto its side, a gray car managed to avoid it, but an eastbound blue Dodge Grand Caravan did not, von Briesen said. It was not known last night if the victims were in the white car or the Caravan.

Von Briesen said the gray car and a red Honda CRV struck debris in the roadway, but the occupants and the truck driver were not injured.

The accident occurred on a stretch of roadway once called "Dead Man's Curve," which was the site of frequent traffic accidents. Several years ago, officials said, the road was widened and the curve was softened.

In the early hours of the investigation of yesterday's accident, police said it could have been caused by high speed, too much weight on the trailer or a shifting load. Alcohol was not a factor in the crash, police said.

Staff writer Richard Irwin contributed to this article.

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