Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accident

According to the Baltimore Sun, since January 2003 at least 29 Maryland pedestrian fatalities have occurred in the 52-mile section of US 40 where it merges into Interstate 70 in Western Howard County. At least 8 of the pedestrian deaths occurred in Baltimore City, and except for 2 fatalities, the other pedestrian deaths occurred in West Baltimore. 21 pedestrian fatalities occurred in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Harford County, with the 3-4 fatalities that took place in the Maryland cities of Rosedale, Ellicott City, and Aberdeen occurring within a few hundred feet of each other.

Maryland State Highway Administration spokesperson Dave Buck says US 40, a main arterial highway, was constructed before pedestrian safety was considered a priority. A recent report by Surface Transportation Policy Project and Transportation for America recently pointed to highway design as one of the main causes of pedestrian deaths.

The report noted that 56% of pedestrian fatalities occur on roads that weren’t designed with pedestrian safety in mind. The report says arterial roads usually have multiple lanes, high speed limits, and few (if any) crossing signals or crosswalks.

Other arterial loads linked to Baltimore pedestrian accidents include Ritchie Highway, US 1, Reierstown Road, Liberty Road, and Mountain Road. With so many pedestrians continuing to die and get hurt in US traffic crashes each year—4,378 US pedestrian fatalities, 69,000 pedestrian injuries, and 116 Maryland pedestrian deaths in 2008—local, state, and federal entities must make sure that roads are properly designed to limit the number of pedestrian injuries and deaths.

U.S. 40 among top danger spots for pedestrians, Baltimore Sun, November 23, 2009

Pedestrians, NHTSA (PDF)

Related Web Resources:

Read the Report (PDF)

Maryland Department of Transportation

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Miriam Frankl, 20, died on October 17 from the serious head wounds and other injuries she sustained during a Baltimore hit and run accident that occurred the day before. Frankl, a Johns Hopkins University student, was struck by a white Ford F-250 moving at a high speed on St. Paul Street during a hit and run Maryland truck crash. Witnesses say that the driver of the truck, a man, did not stop. Instead, he allegedly made an illegal left turn onto East University Parkway.

Frankl was placed on life support at Maryland Shock Trauma Center where she died at 2:30am the next day. Thomas Meighan Jr., the 39-year-old truck owner, was initially arrested on at least 18 driving offenses.

Witnesses say that Meighan’s truck drove erratically for hours that day, tailgating, attempting to cut off other motorists, making abrupt lane changes, running several red lights, driving at high speeds on small roads and driving the wrong way.

Most of the lesser charges have been dropped. The remaining charges against Meighan include driving on a suspended license, failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving death, failure to stop vehicle at bodily injury accident, failure to stop vehicle at death accident scene, failure to render reasonable assistance to injured person, failure to furnish required ID and license, failure to stop after accident involving vehicle damage, and failure to remain at scene of vehicle damage accident.

Police are trying to figure out whether they can charge Meighan with vehicular manslaughter in the hit-and-run death of Frankl. Meighan claims he was not driving his car on the day of the deadly Baltimore car crash that claimed the 20-year-old’s life.

Prior to the October 16 Maryland pedestrian accident, Meighan already had 21 motor vehicle convictions. 8 of those convictions were for drunk driving. Over six of the offenses took place in Carroll County.

Driver’s truck terrorized Baltimore before killing student from Wilmette, Chicago Tribune, October 27, 2009
Charges pared in hit-and-run, The Baltimore Sun, October 28, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Hit and Run Maryland, Deadly Roads
Maryland Department of Transportation

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reportedly recommended as far back as 2002 that motorists not talk on cell phones while driving—unless in an emergency situation. The federal agency also recommended that drivers not use hands-held, as well as hands-free phones and even went so far as to note that establishing laws banning only handheld cell phones might not be enough to minimize the risks of using a phone while operating a motor vehicle.

The reason for this recommendation was that the NHTSA had in its possession hundreds of pages of research documenting the dangers associated with cell phone use while driving. Yet the recommendation and the research were never made available to the public. One reason for this was concern that Congress and other public officials would see the proposal as a form of lobbying.

The information finally became public after Public Citizen and the Center for Auto Safety, two public interest groups, managed to access the information via the Freedom of Information Act.

The question now being asked is how many lives could have been saved if people knew then what they know now about the risks involved with cell phone use while driving? When the NHTSA first made its proposal several years ago, there were more than 170 million people using cell phones in the country—now, there are more than 270 million cell phone subscribers. And now, more than ever, cell phone use while driving has become a bad driving habit that millions of motorist are finding hard to break.

Yet as more motor vehicle accidents are reported involving motorists that caused auto crashes because they were talking on a phone or text messaging, the consequences of cell phone use while driving can no longer be ignored. Even train operators have been found negligent for engaging in these bad habits and causing catastrophic train collisions.

While Maryland doesn’t have a ban on any kind of cell phone use for adult drivers—only for minor drivers—all drivers will be prohibited from text messaging beginning October 2009. The Maryland Highway Safety Foundation says it had been pushing for a hand-held cell phone ban, but with the latest revelations about the NHTSA’s suppressed findings, they may recommend a total ban on the use of all cell phones while driving.

U.S. Withheld Data on Driving Distractions, WBOC 16, July 22, 2009
Suppressed federal study having ripple effect in Md., Baltimore Sun, July 2009
The Truth About Cars and Cellphones, NY TImes, July 22, 2009
Related Web Resources:

Center for Auto Safety

Public Citizen


Maryland Highway Safety Foundation

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A little over two years after 21-year-old Tyler Adams was killed in a Maryland motor vehicle crash while crossing Coastal Highway on June 17, 2007, his family has settled their wrongful death lawsuit with the defendant.

Adams, an Easton resident, and his friend Dale Blankenship were crossing the highway before 2am when a Jeep Cherokee driven by Brian Scott, 19, struck them. While Blankenship, also from Easton, sustained minor injuries, Adams died from his injuries.

No criminal charges were filed against Scott. Adams’s family sued him for Maryland wrongful death in August 2007. Their civil complaint sought $1.75 million in punitive and compensatory damages. The terms of the Maryland wrongful death settlement are confidential.

Several recent Maryland traffic accidents have led to a number of pedestrian deaths and injuries. In Ocean City, a 44-year-old pedestrian died while trying to cross the Coastal Highway. The man was reportedly not in the crosswalk when he was hit by a 2008 Nissan Altima operated by Russell Charles Mass, Jr. Mass, 18, was charged with drunk driving. Police are investigating whether the pedestrian, who sustained fatal head injuries, had also been drinking.

In Frederick, Maryland, three men were charged last week for the death of pedestrian Elizabeth DiNunzio. The Mount Saint Mary’s University’s college senior was jogging last month when she was struck by a car driven by driver Joshua Cool on Old Emmitsburg Road. According to police, DiNunzio was running against traffic and in compliance with Maryland law.

While Joshua is charged with negligent driving, knowingly driving a vehicle that was uninsured, and not exercising the proper care to avoid striking a pedestrian, passengers Ann Cool and Joseph Cool were charged with knowing that they were riding in a vehicle that was uninsured.

Last month, a Clinton man sustained serious injuries in a Howard County pedestrian accident when he was hit by a car on Route 32 close to 95. Frank Trowell, Jr., 44, was taken to Shock Trauma in critical condition. Police are looking into the cause of the Maryland motor vehicle crash.

Also in May, a pregnant teenager and her friend were hit by a car in Crownsville. Police say that the driver of the vehicle, 23-year-old Karla Wagner, drove her 1999 Jeep off the road, striking the teens. One of the girls, who is 17, is from Crownsville. The other teenager, 19-year-old Melissa Truelove, was 7 weeks pregnant at the time of the Maryland traffic crash. Both pedestrians were knocked unconscious and later taken to a local hospital.

Following the Crownsville pedestrian accident, Truelove complained of bruising on her hip and back, pain in her left side, as well as vertigo. Her friend fractured her neck and both hips and also experienced bleeding in her kidney.

Pedestrian hit by car on Route 32 listed in critical condition, Explore Howard, May 29, 2009
Pedestrian Critically Hurt in Accident,, May 29, 2009
Three Charged In Accident That Killed Local Student, YourState, June 4, 2009
Pedestrian Injured In Late-Night Crash,, June 5, 2009
Related Web Resources:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Pedestrian Safety, Maryland State Highway Administration

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Baltimore County police say that two people were sent to an area hospital after they were involved in an Owings Mills multi-vehicle collision on Friday that ended when one car drove into an M & T Bank branch. The Maryland traffic accident occurred when a Hyundai Sonata struck a Toyota RAV4 that was at a red light, which then hit a Lincoln Navigator. Meantime, the Hyundai drove over a curb and into the bank. Fortunately, no one inside the bank was hurt.

In a Baltimore car accident that also occurred on Friday, police are looking for the driver of a van that fatally hit a man riding a dirt bike on Chatham Road. The van’s driver failed to stop at the crash site. Police are asking for any information that could lead to the capture of the driver involved in the deadly hit-and-run Maryland motor vehicle crash.

Also on Friday, Clinton resident Franklin Trowell sustained critical injuries in Howard County when a car hit him on eastbound Route 32 close to Interstate 95. Trowell had been standing on the shoulder of the road examining another accident when the catastrophic Maryland car crash occurred. The driver of the car, Leonard Supsic, 55, reportedly lost control of the 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier that struck Trowell.

Maryland Personal Injury

It can take some time to determine how much financial recovery you are entitled to receive after you’ve been injured in a Maryland motor vehicle accident. This is why it is important that you don’t rush to settle your car accident claim immediately. Your injuries may be more serious than you think, which means they could cost significantly more to recover from than what original estimates suggest. There also may be other parties that can be held liable for your Maryland personal injuries.

Clinton man in critical condition after being hit by car, Baltimore Sun, May 30, 2009
Police seek van driver who fatally hit man on dirt bike, Baltimore Sun, May 30, 2009
Three-vehicle accident sends car into bank, Baltimore Sun, May 30, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Car Accidents Overview, Justia
Personal Injury, Nolo

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The Maryland State Highway Administration says that of the 589 Maryland traffic deaths that occurred in 2008, 124 of those fatalities took place in Prince George’s County. That’s almost twice as many fatalities than in Baltimore County, ranked number two with the most traffic deaths at 52 fatalities. Montgomery County came next with 52 traffic deaths. Baltimore had 49 traffic fatalities, and Anne Arundel County recorded 48 traffic fatalities. Officials from Maryland, Prince George’s County, and municipal police have vowed to address the issue of traffic safety and determine why so many Maryland traffic deaths occur in this county so they can fix the problem.

The county also recently registered the largest amount of Maryland pedestrian deaths over the past decade. For example, of the 111 Maryland pedestrian deaths that occurred in 2007, a significant number of the fatalities occurred in Prince George’s County:

Prince George’s: 28 pedestrian fatalities
Baltimore: 17 pedestrian deaths
Baltimore County: 17 pedestrian fatalities
Montgomery: 15 pedestrian deaths
Anne Arundel: 8 pedestrian fatalities

There were 115 Maryland pedestrian deaths in 2008—and the fatalities keep coming in 2009. Just last month, in Prince George’s County, two young pedestrians, 19-year-old LaRenta Vondale McFarland and 7-year-old Richard Young, died after a Jeep hit them while they were crossing Central Avenue in Upper Marlboro.

According to Maryland Highway Administration spokesperson David Buck, driver error seems to be the leading cause of traffic deaths in Prince George’s County. Common types of driver error include:

• Driver fatigue
• Speeding
• Drunk driving
• Driving under the influence of drugs
• Failure to obey traffic rules
• Talking on cell phone
• Failure to use seat belts
• Text messaging

More 2008 Maryland Traffic Facts:

• About 100,000 Maryland motor vehicle crashes occur annually.
• 196 drivers died in Maryland auto accidents last year.

• 65 of these motorists were not using seat belts or were riding in cars that lacked airbags.

Too Deadly a Place to Drive, Washington Post, May 10, 2009

Maryland State Highway Administration

Related Web Resources:
Maryland Traffic Information, Federal Highway Administration

Prince George’s County, Maryland

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The parents of young girl who was struck by an SUV outside an elementary school in Pasadena have filed a Maryland personal injury lawsuit on her behalf. Brooke M Monday was just 7 when the pedestrian accident happened in April 2006.

Brooke broke her jaw, left leg, and nose in the Maryland pedestrian accident that her parents say occurred because a crossing guard negligently waved her to cross the street just moments before she was struck by the motor vehicle. The defendants in the Maryland injuries to minor lawsuit include Anne Arundel County, SUV driver Alison L Hahn, vehicle owner David Fischer, and Monday’s insurance company. Brooke’s parents, Vernon and Jennifer Monday, are seeking millions of dollars in personal injury compensation.

According to the couple’s Maryland personal injury complaint, Deborah L Johnson failed to keep a proper lookout or enter the middle of the street when she told Brooke she could cross. The Mondays’ attorney has even accused the crossing guard of being distracted from doing her job because she was conversing with a friend at the time the deadly Maryland pedestrian accident happened.

This week, the Maryland Senate approved by a 43 to 4 vote a bill banning drivers from text messaging whenever they are operating their motor vehicles. If the bill becomes law, it would make reading, composing, sending, or receiving text messages a misdemeanor crime punishable by a $500 fine. Maryland would also join a growing list of states and jurisdictions, including Virginia and Washington DC, that are banning text messaging—whether on a cell phone, PDA, or IPod Touch or another device—while operating a motor vehicle.

Sending short messages via cell phone or other electronic devices is a bad habit that has grown more popular in recent years—especially among younger, more inexperienced drivers. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, one of its studies last year found that about 50% of young drivers, ages 18 – 24, text message while driving. The study found that among drivers ages 45 and older, less than 5% engaged in text messaging while operating a motor vehicle.

Text messaging is a type of distracted driving, and like all other forms of distracted driving, including talking on a handheld cellular phone, applying making, or reading the newspaper, can lead to deadly auto accidents. ABC News says that a 2006 study showed that 65% of near-motor vehicle collisions and 80% of auto crashes occur because of distracted driving.

For example, one Maryland child lost her right forearm in a catastrophic bus accident that occurred while the bus driver was texting on his cell phone. 30 people were injured in this Maryland motor vehicle accident. In another traffic accident, a 26-year-old woman died last year in a truck accident when she was struck by a tractor-trailer while the truck driver had been texting.

These kinds of catastrophic motor vehicle collisions could have been avoided if the drivers had not been engaged in distracted driving.

Md. Is Latest State to Target Text Messaging by Drivers, Washington Post, March 18, 2009
Texting While Driving Could Spell Trouble, ABC News, May 8, 2007
Driving and Dialing Bus Drivers May Case Accidents, ABC News, Feb 7, 2007
Related Web Resources:

Examination of Maryland Senate Bill 98 (PDF)

Cell Phone Driving Laws, Governors Highway Safety Association

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The winter time can be a deadly time for Washington DC and Maryland motorists if they aren’t careful. Poor visibility and icy roads can only make the outcome of an auto accident, caused by negligent or careless driving, worse. To help prevent fatal auto accidents from occurring in snowy weather and icy conditions, offers a list of 10 common driving mistakes that can prove fatal in the wintertime:

1) Not checking the weather before you get in the car.
2) Driving too fast under current weather conditions. This can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle on slippery roads.
3) Following too closely behind the vehicle or snowplow equipment in front of you. Allow greater distance between you and the other motorist than you would when there isn’t snow on the road. Do not drive using cruise control when the conditions are wet.
4) Overcorrecting your car on ice.
5) Driving while you’re tired.
6) Driving when there’s poor visibility.
7) Failing to get the car winter ready. Also, make sure you have an extra key that is easily accessible in the event that you get locked out of your vehicle.
8) Driving on back roads.
9) Not carrying an emergency tool with you, such as jumper cables, a spare tire, water, dried food, a cell phone, and warm clothing.

1) Leaving your vehicle if your car stops, which could be the warmest place for you to be.

According to a University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health study:
• Poor weather is a factor in 1.5 million of the car accidents that occur every year, resulting in 800,000 injuries and 7,000 deaths.
• Almost 20% of highway deaths involved poor weather as a factor.

• Driving the day after the year’s first winter storm is the most dangerous day of the year to operate a motor vehicle.

The National Safety Council recommends a number of safety tips for winter driving, including:
• Tune your engine.
• Check your battery.
• Make sure the fluids in your car are at the correct levels.
• Make sure your car is equipped with the proper equipment, including tire chains, a snow scraper, and a snow shovel.

• Have first-aid supplies and a compass with you.

In Depth: 10 Deadly Mistakes Of Winter Driving,

Safe Winter Driving

Related Web Resources:
All-Weather Driving Tips, Road & Travel Magazine
Baltimore, Maryland Weather, Maryland Weather

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