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News / Nation & World

Police: Driver veered into highway work zone, killing 6

By Associated Press
Published: March 23, 2023, 8:50am
3 Photos
Emergency personnel work at the scene of fatal crash along Interstate 695 near Woodlawn, Md., Wednesday, March 22, 2023. At least six people were dead after a crash that closed the Baltimore Beltway in both directions Wednesday, snarling traffic along the west side of the highway that encircles the city, Maryland State Police said.
Emergency personnel work at the scene of fatal crash along Interstate 695 near Woodlawn, Md., Wednesday, March 22, 2023. At least six people were dead after a crash that closed the Baltimore Beltway in both directions Wednesday, snarling traffic along the west side of the highway that encircles the city, Maryland State Police said. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP) Photo Gallery

WOODLAWN, Md. (AP) — New details are emerging about a crash along the Baltimore beltway Wednesday that left six construction workers dead after a driver lost control of her car, which went careening into a work zone, according to Maryland State Police.

Lisa Adrienna Lea, 54, was identified as the driver of a gray Acura sedan headed northbound on Interstate 695 near the Security Boulevard exit when she went to change lanes and struck the front passenger side of a Volkswagen, state police said in a news release late Wednesday. The impact caused her to lose control, and her vehicle entered a barrier opening and traveled between the temporary jersey walls of the construction zone.

The construction workers were actively working along the left shoulder of the highway when the crash occurred, according to police.

Police said Lea was taken to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Center for treatment of the injuries she sustained in the crash, which closed the beltway for hours in both directions, snarling traffic along the west side of the highway that encircles Baltimore. She was the sole occupant of the Acura.

Emergency personnel responded around 12:40 p.m. to reports of a pedestrian crash on the interstate.

Police said the findings of their investigation will be turned over to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney to determine whether anyone will face criminal charges.

The driver of the Volkswagen didn’t report any injuries. He stopped his vehicle north of the scene, according to police.

In a news release Thursday afternoon, police shared the names of the six workers killed: Rolando Ruiz, 46, of Laurel; Carlos Orlando Villatoro Escobar, 43, of Frederick; Jose Armando Escobar, 52, of Frederick; Mahlon Simmons III, 31, of Union Bridge; Mahlon Simmons II, 52, of Union Bridge; and Sybil Lee Dimaggio, 46, of Glen Burnie.

Lea was still hospitalized Thursday afternoon, police said.

The National Transportation Safety Board, a government agency that investigates transportation accidents, is sending investigators to the scene, officials said in a tweet Thursday.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski called the incident horrific.

“We offer our sincere condolences to the families, friends, and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in today’s tragic crash,” he wrote in a tweet Wednesday afternoon.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore also tweeted condolences, saying his “heart goes out to the victims and the families affected by the tragic crash on the 695 beltway this afternoon.”

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