By Linh Bui

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Tragedy on the Beltway. A day of routine roadwork turns deadly when a car suddenly veers off I-695, striking two state highway workers.

Linh Bui has the latest on the investigation.

Police have released the names of everyone involved in the accident, but there’s still no word on what caused the crash.

A fatal accident brings traffic to a standstill on I-695 westbound near Belair Road. Maryland State Police tell WJZ two state highway workers were repairing a sign when a Volvo suddenly left the road, striking and killing one of the men. The other worker was taken to Shock Trauma with injuries.

“All of the men and women of the State Highway are offering their condolences to the family,” said Valerie Burnette Edgar, of the Maryland Department of Transportation. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the employee who is still at the hospital.”

WJZ has learned the man who died, 50-year-old Eddie Gilyard, was a veteran employee with the State Highway Administration, with 25 years of service. The man who was injured, 38-year-old Nathan Brown, was fairly new to the department.

“The SHA family is stunned and saddened by this tragic incident, and we extend our heartfelt condolences and support to the Gilyard family as well as our thoughts and prayers to Mr. Brown and his family,” said State Highway Administrator Melinda B. Peters. “Every day, thousands of hard working and dedicated women and men put their lives on the line in roadway work zones all across the state. This is a heartbreaking reminder of the hazards faced by our dedicated workers.  While this crash is under investigation, it is imperative that we remind drivers to slow down and stay alert when approaching any area where people are working.”

It’s a tragedy that could have been prevented. State Police say the workers did everything right, and qualify under the state’s “Move Over” law.

“If the driver had moved over and gave those workers a safe work area to work, I don’t believe this tragedy would have happened,” said Sgt. Marc Black, of Maryland State Police. “They were on the right road side, they had their lights flashing and they were in a safe area and they should have been able to do their jobs without any concerns.”

Unfortunately, accidents like this happen so often. The state passed legislation putting speed cameras in work zones to keep workers safe. It’s a somber reminder for all drivers to be alert on the road.

“Our crews are out there every day risking their lives and this brings it home that this is a dangerous job,” Burnette Edgar said.

The driver of the Volvo was also injured and taken to the hospital. Anyone who witnessed the accident should contact Maryland State Police.

Maryland State Police shut down the Outer Loop for about two hours as they conducted their investigation.

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Linh Bui