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Md. State Police Search For Suspect In Fatal Road Rage Incident

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Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Deadly road rage. Two people are killed and three others are hurt in a Harford County wreck. The accident could have been even more tragic if it wasn’t for an off-duty Maryland State Trooper.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on his heroic actions.

The state trooper braved smoke and fire to save three people from a burning car. Unfortunately, two of those people would die, including a 17-year-old girl.

The northbound lanes of I-95 are back open after being shut down nearly six hours after a crash turns into a ball of flames.

Troopers say it was around 2 a.m. when two vehicles became the latest road rage incident that would turn deadly.

“Witnesses saw them both northbound on I-95 darting in and out of traffic,” said Greg Shipley, Maryland State Police spokesman.

A black Lexus driven by 31-year-old Vinny Tanner and a Jeep would pull off to the side of the road. What happened next would be the last few moments of life for two people.

Witnesses tell state troopers they saw several people get out of a Jeep. One person ran up to Tanner’s car and began banging on the window. That’s when he took off.

“For unknown reasons, the driver of the Lexus accelerated, pulled off the shoulder, and went across the lanes of traffic across northbound I-95,” Shipley said.

A box car would slam into the car. The Lexus would burst into flames. Pictures show the ball of fire off-duty state trooper Corporal Kevin Watkins saw when he pulled up to help.

He pulled all three people out of the car. The driver and 17-year-old passenger Jannell Jackson of Baltimore died at the hospital. Two other people were also injured in the crash, but survived.

Police are on the lookout for the second car involved in this road rage incident–that Jeep.

The state trooper who pulled the victims from the burning car was treated and released for smoke inhalation.

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