Va. tow truck driver, 44, killed in accident along Interstate 195

Man was trapped between wheels of bus he was trying to haul and dragged 100 feet



A tow truck driver was killed Wednesday night along Interstate 195 in Anne Arundel County when his truck and the Greyhound bus he had attached it to began rolling forward, trapping him between the bus' wheels and dragging him about 100 feet, Maryland State Police said yesterday.

The driver's body was found yesterday morning along the highway, just north of Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Authorities identified the driver as Ervin C. Gurley, 44, of Chester, Va.

According to state police, Gurley had been dispatched Wednesday to tow a Greyhound bus that had broken down on westbound I-195 near the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

The bus left Washington with 32 passengers and was headed to New York City when it broke down about 8 a.m. Wednesday, according to a Greyhound spokeswoman, who said a second bus picked up the driver and passengers about 11 a.m. The driver had reported transmission problems, the spokeswoman said. A mechanic arrived and tried for several hours to repair the bus, without success. The bus was left on the right shoulder.

Robinson Wrecker Service of Mechanicsville, Va., was called to tow the bus to a repair facility, according to the Maryland State Police.

Gurley had the front of the bus attached to his truck, a 2000 Kenilworth heavy-duty wrecker, but there was a problem with the rear axle of the bus that prevented him from towing it. He last contacted his supervisors and Greyhound about 9:30 p.m. to tell them about the problems, police said.

Police believe that he continued to work on the rear axle when the vehicles, which were connected, rolled forward.

"Had they rolled in reverse he might have been able to clear the vehicles," said Sgt. Thornnie Rouse, spokesman for the state police. "But because they rolled forward, he had no outlet."

Rouse said that the emergency brake may not have been set in the tow truck, and the two vehicles were on a slight decline. Police are continuing to investigate the cause of the accident.

Gurley's body was spotted yesterday by a motorist who called the state police about 9 a.m. The motorist told troopers that a man was trapped under a vehicle, and state troopers and fire and rescue workers were sent to the scene.

Gurley was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was taken to the Office of the State Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.

A woman who answered the phone at Robinson Wrecker Service last night said Gurley was "a grand person" but declined to talk further.

Traffic on I-195 was re-routed until about 1:30 p.m. yesterday.

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