Icy conditions caused hundreds of auto collisions and four deaths throughout the greater Washington, D.C. area, including several massive multi-vehicle collisions.
One of the worst of the incidents involved a fiery explosion and 67-vehicle pileup on Interstate 95 in Baltimore early Saturday morning.
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, a tanker carrying gasoline slid off a highway bridge on I-95 and fell onto the CSX Transportation railroad tracks below between Canton Avenue and Washington Boulevard at around 5 a.m. The crash led to a fiery explosion that killed the driver of the truck.
Two others were killed and nearly a dozen were injured in a massive pileup on I-95 at the same location. One individual left his vehicle during the incident and fell over a barrier to his death while trying to avoid oncoming traffic. The third death remains under investigation.
Officials also continue to investigate the cause of the tanker accident, which they are considering a separate incident from the massive car pileup. Slick, icy roads were likely a contributing factor.
Another accident also occurred around 5:30 a.m. Saturday involving 15 vehicles on the Baltimore beltway near Southeast Freeway.
In Virginia, a 23-vehicle crash on the Inner Loop of the Beltway occurred around 5:15 a.m. the same day. Police reported that a man involved in the accident walked away from his vehicle and was later found dead on the side of the highway about a mile away from his vehicle. Four others suffered minor injuries.
According to reports, police in Baltimore responded to 200 calls for collisions in the city, while Maryland police reported 377 across the state. Virginia State Police investigated 41 reported accidents in the area.
The National Weather Service stated that freezing rain hit the region in the hours before 5 a.m. Saturday morning, leading to treacherous driving conditions.
The Maryland Transportation Authority stated that it pre-treated the highways, but the freezing rain immediately froze as it reached the ground. Elevated highways like overpasses tend to freeze before others parts of the road.
Saturday’s accidents are an important reminder of the importance of motorists exercising extreme caution when traveling in severe weather. Drivers should slow down and leave plenty of space between their vehicles and others on the highway. If the weather is too bad, people should stay indoors and avoid driving.
The car accident attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan are familiar with the tragedy that can result from a winter accident. If another’s negligence caused your accident and injuries, we can help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.