Charges pending against truck driver in light-rail accident

Investigators release names of those involved in Cockeysville crash

March 24, 2010|By Nick Madigan | nick.madigan@baltsun.com

Investigators looking into a light-rail accident in Cockeysville released the names Wednesday of the three drivers involved, and said charges were pending against the operator of the tractor-trailer that crossed the train's path.

The truck driver in Tuesday morning's crash was identified as Mark Szurek, 53, who was behind the wheel of a 2007 Volvo cab pulling a Wabash trailer filled with plastic bottles. Szurek was driving for John W. Ritter Trucking Inc., based in Laurel.

A preliminary investigation showed that Szurek drove into the path of the light-rail train at a signaled crossing, according to a Baltimore County police spokesman, Cpl. Michael Hill.

The driver of the Maryland Transit Administration train was Deborah Morton, 51, who remained at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in serious but stable condition Wednesday.

After the train struck the tractor-trailer, the ensuing force caused the trailer to collide with a 2009 Honda Civic that was following it. The Honda was driven by Elliott Schoen, 45, who lives in the Montgomery County community of Cabin John.

Schoen and Szurek refused medical treatment at the scene.

The accident occurred about 9:20 a.m. Tuesday when the truck, heading north on Gilroy Road, attempted to make a right turn against a signal into McCormick's Hunt Valley plant, said Hill, whose department is being assisted in its investigation by the Maryland Transit Administration Police. The southbound train hit the truck, pushing it down the tracks, splitting its trailer in half and raining plastic bottles on the surrounding area.

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