Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Chaos outside City Hall. An out-of control driver flips his car while trying to evade police, killing a city worker. A community is mourning that longtime activist.
Meghan McCorkell has more on this tragedy.
That car landed right in the front of City Hall.
Witnesses tackled the driver to the ground and held him there until police came.
More than 100 mph. That’s how fast police say the Acura was flying down the JFX.
“Next thing I heard was a crash and went running,” a witness said.
A state trooper spotted it and followed as the driver got off the highway and ran two red lights.
“Let me assure you there was no pursuit at that point in time,” said Sgt. Marc Black with Maryland State Police.
The car hit a city worker and then flipped in the air.
The driver jumped out and tried to run, but witnesses stopped him.
“I grabbed the guy by his dreadlocks, pulled him down to the ground, stepped on his neck and said don’t move,” said Cesar Lithgow.
Police captured the suspect.
City worker Matthew Hersl, 45, was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
According to records, Hersl had worked in the city finance department for the past 28 years.
“I’m extremely saddened by the news, and again my prayers, and I hope the prayers of our city, are with his family,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
“To have a tragedy like this happen is just heartbreaking,” said City Council President Jack Young.
Hersl– a big Orioles fan– was an integral part of his Little Italy neighborhood.
“He always put the community first, always wanted to help make it a better place for everybody,” said neighbor Jim Palermo.
He served on several community organizations and helped run Citizens on Patrol.
“It’s sick. I lost my right arm. I lost my right arm in this community. He did everything, just a naturally down-to-Earth generally good guy,” said Mary Ann Campanella, victim’s friend.
A memorial sits outside Hersl’s front door, as neighbors honor a man who gave back so much.
Some community members in Little Italy say they plan to hold a special memorial service to honor their friend.
The suspect is a 43-year-old man from Baltimore. He was treated for minor injuries.
Charges against him are pending.