Driver flees I-95 accident in another man's truck

Good Samaritan's pickup becomes getaway vehicle

May 08, 2002|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

A driver involved in a commute-halting, two-car collision yesterday morning on Interstate 95 in Howard County fled the scene using the pickup truck of a good Samaritan who had stopped to help the victims, Maryland State Police said.

The driver had not been found by police, though he likely suffered serious injuries when his Isuzu Trooper flipped over a guardrail and off the road, Sgt. Charles Moore said.

Moore said the man might have dozed off just before the accident at 8:40 a.m.

The man was speeding and driving erratically in the fast lane of northbound I-95 near Route 32 when he lost control, struck the median and smashed into a 1996 Oldsmobile also traveling north, police said.

Both vehicles then struck a guardrail on the right side of the road and overturned, police said. Witnesses described the cars as an unrecognizable tangle of metal.

The Oldsmobile's 61-year-old driver, Noreen Johnson, and her 26-year-old son, Jerome Johnson, both of Silver Spring, were taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, police said.

Jerome Johnson was thrown from the car, police said. He was in serious but stable condition yesterday evening, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Noreen Johnson, who police said had been trapped in her car, was treated and released yesterday, the spokeswoman said.

Seconds after the accident, a man driving a 1997 Ford pickup truck pulled over to render aid to the injured drivers and passenger, police said.

While he was assisting them, the Isuzu's driver, described as a black male, 5-feet-10, 185 pounds with curly black hair, hopped into the pickup and sped away. The truck is registered to G.L. Cornell Co. of Gaithersburg - a name painted on the pickup truck in gold and black lettering, police said.

From the Isuzu's license plates and registration, police determined the name of the vehicle's owner and were seeking him last night. Police did not reveal his name.

Witnesses told authorities the Isuzu driver appeared to be nodding off at the wheel just before the crash, Moore said. Some witnesses said they saw cuts on his face after the accident, Tfc. Eric Diggs said.

The accident clogged traffic in both directions of I-95 for about two hours, state police said.

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