We want your opinions

Speak Out!

October 31, 2007

ISSUE:

The driver of a Lincoln Navigator whose trailer came loose on the Bay Bridge in May was "solely at fault" for the deadly multivehicle crash that resulted, according to a police investigation, but prosecutors have decided that they have no grounds for charging him with any traffic offenses.

Three Eastern Shore men died in the seven-vehicle collision May 10, which closed the westbound span of the bridge well into the night and backed up traffic for miles. A report released last week by the Maryland Transportation Authority Police concluded that there was no evidence that the driver of the Navigator, Stephen A. Burt of Rockville, had used a safety hitch pin to secure the single-axle trailer to his vehicle. Without that pin to hold the latch lever in place, the trailer came loose as it bounced on the westbound span of the bridge, according to the report.

Investigators also determined that the chains used to pull the trailer were too long, allowing the front of the trailer to hit the ground.

Nevertheless, the Anne Arundel County state's attorney's office concluded that "no current regulations exist" that would justify charges in the case.

YOUR VIEW:

Should the state more clearly define its laws on trailer hitches, or should this crash be considered a tragic fluke?

Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com by tomorrow. Please keep your responses short and include your name, address and phone number. A selection will be printed Sunday.

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