Six construction workers died on March 22 when an apparently out-of-control passenger car careened into a work zone along the Interstate-695 Beltway in Baltimore, Maryland State police say.
The preliminary investigation indicates that the car, a gray Acura, was traveling on the I-695 Inner Loop when it struck the front passenger-side corner panel of a Volkswagen Jetta while attempting to change lanes. The impact caused the car to lose control and travel into the work zone, located along the highway’s left shoulder and isolated from the travel lanes by concrete barriers, police said in a statement.
Emergency medical personnel from the Baltimore County Fire Department pronounced six contractual highway workers deceased on the scene. The victims are 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
Sybil Lee Dimaggio, 46, of Glen Burnie
Lisa Adrienne Lea, 54, of Randallstown was hospitalized. She was the driver and sole occupant of a 2017 Acura TLX involved in the crash, police.
Melachi Brown, 20, of Windsor Mill was uninjured in the crash. He was the driver of a 2017 Volkswagen, the second vehicle involved in the crash. Brown stopped his vehicle north of the scene on I-695 where his vehicle became disabled.
The preliminary investigation indicates the driver of the Acura, later identified as Lea, was traveling in lane 2 at about 12:40 p.m. yesterday when she attempted to change lanes. As Lea attempted to move into lane 1, police believe her vehicle struck the front corner panel on the passenger side of the Volkswagen. Crash Team investigators believe this caused the Acura to lose control and subsequently travel through the barrier opening into the work zone and overturned. The construction workers were working in an active work zone on the left shoulder of the inner loop of I-695 in Baltimore County when the incident occurred.
Maryland State Police from the Golden Ring Barrack and the Traffic Incident Management Section responded to the scene. Officers from the Baltimore County Police Department also responded to assist. Investigators from the Maryland Department of Transportation Occupational Safety Office, Maryland Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are working in coordination with the Maryland State Police Crash Team.
Once the investigation is complete, the Crash Team will submit its findings to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for review to determine whether charges will be filed.