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Drunk Driving Blamed For Fatal Wrong-Way Accident

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MILLERSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — We now know what caused a deadly wrong-way crash along I-97 back in June. A driver, drunk behind the wheel, was going south in the northbound lanes. It happened in the same spot where another drunk driver killed four people in January.

Kai Jackson explains the two crashes are strikingly similar.

The tragedy of the two accidents underscores the danger of drinking and driving.

There were two horrific accidents in Millersville this year. Both involved the 10B exit ramp of I-97. Both crashes had fatal results and now, new information from Maryland State Police points a finger at alcohol abuse.

“The medical examiner’s office has not given us official documentation but the preliminary results from the toxicology reports do indicate a presence of alcohol in the driver’s blood,” said Elena Russo, Maryland State Police spokesperson.

These accidents also raise questions about signage accessing this stretch of I-97 and there’s mixed reaction as to whether the signs are clearly marked or confusing.

“I don’t know if it’s the road signs or the lights leading up to it or people getting confused,” said one.

“The road’s well-marked, the exits far apart. I have no idea how you could end up going the wrong way on 97,” said another.

In the June accident, police say Kelly Whitt, 24, of Pasadena headed south on northbound I-97. She hit Jianguo Pan of Glen Burnie in his car. The crash killed both drivers. In January, a similar accident happened. A 19-year-old driver headed the wrong way on 97. She got to Rt. 50 before hitting another car. The driver and three others were killed.

Maryland State Police are continuing their investigation.

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