Reporting Alex DeMetrick
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — An accident on the Bay Bridge sends a car and its driver plunging into the water below. Now, new details in the investigation are released.
Alex DeMetrick has more on the reconstruction report.
The report is 45 pages long, and it all boils down to speed and distracted driving.
The accident on a July Friday night involved a tractor-trailer rig and two cars, one of which had to be lifted out of the bay after being shoved over the jersey wall.
Emergency calls told what happened.
Caller: “It was hit by an 18-wheeler really badly. An 18-wheeler just pushed it right over the wall.”
“I got one good scream in. And after that scream, the car hit the water and my mouth filled up with water,” said Morgan Lake, crash victim.
Lake managed to escape her sinking car and swim to rocks around a bridge support. Maryland Transportation Authority police crash teams investigated the accident.
Thursday, MDTA released its reconstruction report. It starts with truck driver Gabor Lovasz.
“His attention was directed to his driver’s side mirror due to flashing headlights behind him,” said Chief Michael Kundrat, MDTA.
Ahead, cars were stopping. The truck first hit Lake’s Chrysler, which rear-ended a Mazda SUV. The truck then hit the Chrysler a second time, pushing it over the wall.
“The tractor-trailer was going between 47 to 51 miles per hour just prior to impact,” Kundrat said.
Lovasz is charged with failure to control speed to avoid a collision, unsafe lane change, negligent driving and speed greater than reasonable or prudent on a highway. All misdemeanors and all adding up to:
“An all too common occurrence. And distracted driving and tailgating need to stop,” said Kundrat.
To reduce the threat of future accidents on the bridge, the state is looking into adding flashing “congestion ahead” signs, headlight use during two-way traffic operations and the use of additional rumble strips between lanes and around curves.
The truck driver is facing $670 in fines. Police say he and the Canadian trucking company he works for have been cooperative.
During the upcoming holiday weekend, police will be working the bridge, targeting aggressive driving, tailgating and drivers on cell phones.