Deadly Maryland Car Crash Could Have Been Prevented if Police Had Arrested the Driver for Leaving Another Accident Scene Less than Two Hours Prior

A Maryland car crash that led to the deaths of Katherine Brady and her son Wilson in Harford County last Friday could have been prevented if police had arrested the driver accused of causing the accident for fleeing the scene of another motor vehicle collision less than two hours prior, reports the Baltimore Sun.

While police maintain that they acted appropriately when they issued Christopher Lentz a summons after he failed to stop at the scene of the first auto crash he was involved in that day (leaving a traffic crash scene is not a mandatory arrestable offense in Maryland), others are questioning why he wasn’t arrested.

The first auto accident took place on Route 152 in Joppa at around 3:30pm when Lentz allegedly drove across the center line and struck a minivan. Seven children who were in the minivan at the time of the traffic crash were transported to a hospital for evaluation.

The 37-year-old Glen Arm motorist then reportedly kept driving for half a mile until his vehicle became disabled. Police charged him with failure to stop at an accident scene, failure to drive right of center, failure to provide the other motorist with insurance information, and failure to control the speed of his car to avoid a crash.

Some 90 minutes later, Lentz, who was driving another motor vehicle, crashed a 2004 Jeep Cherokee SUV head-on into a mini-van on the Bel Air Bypass. Katherine Brady and Wilson, 8, died in the accident. Her husband Stephen, 2-year-old son Ian, another motorist, and Lentz were taken to hospitals for treatment of their injuries.

Lentz has a record of previous driving offenses. He has been issued a number of speeding tickets and his license has been revoked once and suspended at least twice. Thirteen years ago, he was convicted for driving under the influence.

Police say that they will likely charge Lentz for his involvement in the second crash.

Driver could have been arrested before fatal crash, Baltimore Sun, November 13, 2008
Maryland Mother and Her Son Are Killed and Four Others Are Injured in Multi-Vehicle Crash on Bel Air Bypass in Harford County, Lebowitz & Mzhen, November 9, 2008

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