Accidents snarl traffic on Interstate 95 in Howard

May 03, 2002|By Tricia Bishop | Tricia Bishop,SUN STAFF

Reckless driving coupled with heavy rain yesterday morning caused multiple accidents and several injuries on Interstate 95 southbound along a four-mile stretch between Routes 175 and 216, Maryland State Police said.

"It was a major mess," Sgt. Frank Esposito said. "Cars were everywhere."

Police said seven accidents occurred on I-95 in Howard County between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., backing traffic up for miles along the major north-south interstate artery and on U.S. 1 and Route 32.

The worst of the crashes happened about 8:40 a.m. near Route 32, just before the I-95 South Welcome Center rest stop and involved two tractor-trailers and three cars.

According to witnesses, police said, a car cut off a tractor-trailer, which then jackknifed after the driver slammed on the brakes, hitting the car in front of it and one to its side. Another tractor-trailer tried to swerve around the pileup, but it hit a pickup truck in the process.

Six people suffered minor injuries and were taken to Laurel Regional Hospital. Police identified them as Julie E. Hentschel and Timothy Grondin of Portsmouth, N.H.; Robert Taylor of Columbia, S.C.; Luis Fontanez of Haledon, N.J.; and Shawn Yarnell and Patrick Shue, both of Pennsylvania.

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