Maryland police investigate fatal crashes over the past week
Seven separate fatal vehicle crashes occurred over the past week and state police are looking for answers as to what's going on.
The most recent accident occurred Sunday evening in Howard county when a 56-year-old Harold Joseph Sweeney III died in a multi-vehicle crash. At about 8:55 p.m., troopers from the Waterloo Barrack responded to a crash involving a 2021 Honda CBR1000 motorcycle and 2005 Buick Lacrosse that occurred when both vehicles were traveling east in the area of I-70 and Maryland Route 32 in Marriottsville, Maryland.
An investigation revealed that the motorcycle rear-ended the Buick and Sweeney was ejected from his vehicle. Sweeney was transported to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he later died. The driver of the Buick, a female, was transported to Howard County General Hospital for treatment of her injuries. The cause of the crash remains under investigation and Eastbound I-70 was closed for about an hour after the accident.
There's also an investigation for three fatal crashes in Worcester County and one each in Baltimore, Somerset and Prince George’s counties. For the year, Maryland State Police have investigated 137 fatal crashes, up from 120 at the same point in 2020 which is a 17 percent increase over the past year. Troopers have also responded to 16,165 crashes in 2021, up from 14,224 over the same period in 2020. Troopers have also recorded 4,849 DUI arrests in 2021, up from 4,401 at the same point last year.
Troopers have conducted initiatives over the past year to reduce vehicle fatalities including a partnership with the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, Montgomery County Police, and the Prince George’s County Police to conduct a cooperative high visibility patrol initiative late Friday night into early Saturday morning.
Efforts were focused on I-495 from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the American Legion Memorial Bridge, and on US Route 50 from Washington D.C to the Anne Arundel County line as well as major roadways leading to them.
The state police are looking to reduce DUI related accidents, recording 7 DUI arrests, while making 19 traffic stops and issuing 54 citations and 10 warnings over the weekend. The SPIDRE Team has recorded 260 DUI arrests in 2021. The state has also recorded 291 traffic stops, while issuing 315 citations, 205 warnings, 80 safety equipment repair orders and 8 civil citations. Troopers and officers removed 21 impaired drivers from the roadways and seized two illegal guns. In addition, there were five people arrested on warrants and other criminal charges.
Maryland State Police say they will continue traffic safety initiatives throughout the coming months focusing on areas where crash data indicates they are most needed.