This year's slew of winter storms hitting the East Coast have already wreaked a considerable amount of havoc on the area's roads. Now, the icy conditions have played a role in yet another fatal car accident. A 24-year-old graduate student died this past Thursday while driving on Interstate 695. Her vehicle was one of several in the multi-car pileup.
When reporting on the crash, the Maryland State Police declared that the young woman's vehicle hit the back end of a trailer as it braked for slower traffic. According to witnesses, the severity of the crash caused the woman's car roof to be torn off completely, scattering pieces of metal along the highway. After rescuing the victim from the wreckage, emergency responders sent her to a local Shock Trauma unit, but their best efforts ended in vain.
In hindsight, investigators have singled out a combination of speeding and dangerous road conditions as the main factors responsible for the crash. The stretch of the Beltway where the crash occurred, like much of the surrounding area, recently received a significant amount of snow and sleet, creating extremely slippery driving conditions.
While the young woman's death was the incident's only fatality, two other drivers reported to a local hospital with minor injuries. The interstate remained congested for the rest of the day as officers investigated both this crash and others along the Beltway.
This tragic accident is yet another warning call for drivers to heed weather conditions while on the road. Even if you are unaccustomed to driving in icy conditions, there are a few simple tips that can make your commute significantly safer for both yourself and your fellow travelers. In our next post, we'll review a couple of suggestions to help keep your winter accident-free.
Source: Hunterdon County Democrat, "Former Union Twp. Resident Lindsey Freeman, 24, dies after Maryland auto accident," 28 January 2011.