Reporting Monique Griego
HARFORD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Road rage may be what led to a horrific accident in Harford County that killed two people. People continue to search for a vehicle that fled the scene.
Monique Griego spoke with the state trooper who’s being called a hero after pulling three people from a burning car.
The trooper was off duty when he saw the crash but says once someone was trapped, instincts kicked in.
Just after 2 a.m. Saturday, road rage led to a horrific crash in Harford County.
“Witnesses saw them both northbound on I-95, darting in and out of traffic,” said Greg Shipley, Maryland State Police.
Police say a black Lexus and a Jeep pulled onto the side of the road and got into a dispute. That’s when the Lexus suddenly took off, crossed several lanes of traffic, hit a box truck and burst into flames.
“I saw what appeared to be a huge fireball,” said Corporal Kevin Watkins, Maryland State Police.
Watkins was off duty when he saw the fire and realized a man was trapped inside.
“My instincts kicked in,” he said. “I just grabbed him, started pulling him away and when he got far enough, he said, `What about my friend?’”
By now, the car was engulfed in smoke and flames.
“At any time I thought that vehicle was going to blow,” said Watkins.
Despite the danger, Watkins and another good Samaritan headed back.
“We just grabbed him and started pulling and that’s when we realized there was a third person in the vehicle. Grabbed her, pulled her out and got them to safety,” Watkins said.
Watkins later learned two of the victims did not survive. Police identified them as 31-year-old Veney Tanner, Jr. and 17-year-old Janelle Jackson. The third person is expected to make it.
“You always hope that everybody pulls through but unfortunately, that was not the case. It’s a little difficult to deal with,” Watkins said.
Police are now looking for the Jeep involved in the road rage. It fled after the accident.
While Watkins is being called a hero for his part, he doesn’t see it that way.
“It’s something I would want someone to do for me and my family and I just kept going,” he said.
Anyone with information about the accident or Jeep involved is asked to call Maryland State Police.
Watkins and the driver of the box truck were treated for minor injuries.