On Wednesday afternoon, tragedy struck on Interstate 695 in Baltimore County as a collision between two cars resulted in the deaths of six highway workers and injury to the driver of one of the vehicles.
54-year-old Lisa Adrienne Lea, who was behind the wheel of an Acura, attempted to cross lanes and struck the front corner panel of a Volkswagen. The impact caused Lea to lose control of her car and veer into a construction zone, where the unfortunate workers happened to be present.
The victims were identified as 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. The driver of the Volkswagen, a 20-year-old named Melachi Brown, emerged unscathed.
The crash prompted the shutdown of both directions of traffic on the west side of the highway, which surrounds the City of Baltimore.
In response to the tragedy, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) quickly deployed investigators to the scene. Maryland Gov. Wes Moore tweeted his condolences, saying that his “heart goes out to the victims and the families affected by the tragic crash on the 695 beltway this afternoon.”
In addition, the Maryland State Police released a statement indicating that upon completion of their investigation, the Crash Team will submit their findings to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for review with a view to deciding if any charges are to be pressed.
The tragic crash on Interstate 695 in Baltimore County serves as a stark reminder of the fragility of life, and the need to always be mindful of our own safety, as well as that of others on the roads. It is a reminder to take extra caution, be alert to one’s surroundings, and exercise the utmost safety practices when on the roads.