Police identify suspect in hit-and-run on Beltway

February 04, 2005|By Anica Butler | Anica Butler,SUN STAFF

The man who police say was behind the wheel in a fatal hit-and-run crash on the Baltimore Beltway early Saturday was named by state police yesterday.

Jeffrey A. Ziegler, 28, of the 8400 block of Loch Raven Blvd. in Towson was the driver and owner of the 1982 BMW 320i that struck and killed 42-year-old William M. Ruffin, according to the Maryland State Police. The crash is still under investigation, police said.

Ruffin -- who was called Michael by his family -- was working on a construction site near the Beltway's York Road exit when Ziegler's car smashed through a barrier and struck him about 5:30 a.m., police said. The car carried Ruffin about 100 feet, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said earlier that the driver pulled over onto the shoulder after the crash and got out of his vehicle, then got back into his car, drove off and exited the Beltway onto Dulaney Valley Road.

Police said they found the BMW abandoned at Greenspring Station, an office park on Falls Road, several hours later. State troopers and Baltimore County police officers found Ziegler at his home, and he volunteered to speak with investigators, police said.

Because the crash remains under investigation, police would not release any details about a possible cause, said Sgt. Thornnie Rouse, a state police spokesman. The investigation could take a month, Rouse said, and the results will be sent to the state's attorney's office, which will make a decision about whether charges will be filed.

Ziegler could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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