2 killed, 1 hurt in car crash

Fatal wreck followed weekend of accidents on county roadways

Four others injured in crashes

Alcohol use suspected in 1 incident, police say, drowsiness in another

Anne Arundel

December 30, 2003|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

Two people were killed and a third person was injured in a head-on collision in southern Anne Arundel County yesterday evening, capping off a weekend of serious motor vehicle accidents that left four others in area hospitals.

Just after 5:30 p.m., a car and a sport utility vehicle smashed into each other on Route 258 in Lothian, according to a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

Both the driver and passenger in the car - a Lincoln of an unidentified model - were pronounced dead at the scene, said Division Chief John M. Scholz. Both victims, a man and a woman, appeared to be in their 50s, he said.

The driver of the Toyota sport utility vehicle, a 45-year-old woman, was flown to Prince George's Hospital Center, where she was treated for serious but nonlife-threatening injuries, Scholz said.

Names were not released last night as police and fire officials sought to notify the victims' families.

The accident shut down two-lane Route 258 in both directions west of Route 2 for several hours, Scholz said.

The fatal accident followed a weekend that included two serious crashes - one apparently involving alcohol and excessive speed and another with a drowsy driver - that sent four people to area hospitals, Anne Arundel County police said.

An early-morning single-vehicle wreck yesterday on Dorsey Road in Glen Burnie badly injured two men. Police said they suspect the driver had been drinking alcohol while driving a 1995 Chevrolet Cavalier.

Police were unable to provide the name of the driver yesterday, saying he did not have identification on him at the time of the crash. He sustained serious leg and chest injuries, police said, and was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was in critical condition yesterday, police said.

The passenger, Rodrigo Cruz, 25, of the 100 block of Warwickshire Lane in Glen Burnie, was in fair condition last night at the trauma center, according to a nursing coordinator.

Police said in a news release that the two men smelled of alcohol when they were freed from their crumpled vehicle shortly after midnight yesterday. Officers also found open containers of alcohol, police said.

The Cavalier veered off a Dorsey Road on-ramp to southbound Interstate 97, police said. Witnesses told police the car had been traveling at high speed.

After the driver lost control on the ramp, the car careened more than 450 feet off the roadway, struck a dirt embankment and then crashed into a concrete pillar, police said.

It was unclear whether the men had been wearing seat belts.

Police said they are investigating the crash but have not filed charges.

Another single-vehicle wreck left an 18-year-old Crofton man injured and his 22-year-old passenger in critical condition early Saturday, police said.

Police said the teen, David Richard Maurath of the 2800 block of Willow Wood Court, had apparently fallen asleep at the wheel, causing the 1999 Chevrolet pickup he was driving to veer off the right side of Ritchie Highway in Arnold and strike two trees.

The car traveled about 110 feet before coming to a stop, police said. One of the trees struck the driver's side of the car and the other tree struck the passenger's side, police said.

Both the driver and passenger were wearing seat belts.

Maurath was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, where he was treated and released.

His passenger, Laura Michelle Strain, 22, of the 300 block of Lake Shore Drive in Pasadena, was taken to Shock Trauma, where she remained in critical condition last night.

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