BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland State Police are investigating eight fatal crashes from across the state over the Memorial Day weekend, one of the victims was a 19-year-old motoryclist who police said died during an illegal race.
There were three motorcycles involved in that incident. One teenage driver crashed and never even made it to a hospital.
It’s a known problem spot for illegal bike and drag racing, and once again, Interstate 70 is the site of another speed-related death.
Police said they recently launched an effort to curb illegal racing.
Tuesday, the ashes from emergency flares on I-70 near Frederick were still visible where first responders tried to save 19-year-old Dustin Curtis.
“This just happened to be a group of individuals that, at least according to our preliminary investigation, seems to have discussed the idea of a race,” said state police spokesperson Ron Snyder. A race allegedly occurred and it ended in tragic consequences, unfortunately,”
More organized illegal races have killed Marylanders over the years. In August, state police honed in on I-70, issuing close to 100 citations in a single weekend.
Still, law enforcement has struggled to keep the lid on the crime.
Just this February, a man was hit and killed by drag racers while changing a flat tire on Interstate 795.
“The highways are not designed for raceways,” Snyder said.
As state police investigate the latest racing tragedy on Maryland’s highways, officers hope it isn’t a sign of a dangerous and deadly summer ahead.
“This is that time of year where weather’s getting nicer, people are out on the roads more, and this type of activity is not just dangerous for those that are involved in the races, but anyone around,” Snyder said.
Curtis had been arrested for serious traffic violations or driving on a suspended license almost a dozen times, the latest just three weeks ago.
Police do not believe alcohol or drugs were involved in Monday’s crash.