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Police await toxicology tests in fatal wreck

June 08, 1997

By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

Staff Writer

HANCOCK - Maryland State Police are awaiting toxicology results to determine whether drugs were a factor in a fatal accident Saturday evening on westbound Interstate 70 near Hancock.

A Virginia woman died and four of her family members were injured in the accident, involving their car and a tractor-trailer, police said.

The accident happened at about 5:30 p.m. near the Interstate 68 interchange, police said.

Judy McDowell, 34, of Fredericksburg, Va., was a passenger in a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am driven by her brother, Mark Springs, 38, also of Fredericksburg, police said.

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Springs was heading west on I-70 when he made an abrupt attempt to change lanes to get onto westbound I-68 and lost control of his car, police said.

The car crossed in front of a westbound 1995 Peterbilt tractor-trailer, struck the guardrail and ricocheted back onto the road, where it was struck on the passenger side by the right rear of the truck, police said.

The car was dragged about 90 feet before it separated from the truck, police said.

McDowell, who was seated in the front passenger's seat, died at the scene, police said.

Springs, their mother, Winifred Reed, 64, of Youngstown, Ohio, and McDowell's two daughters, ages 7 and 13, were taken to War Memorial Hospital in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., police said.

Springs and Reed were treated and released, according to the hospital.

The two girls were sent to Winchester Medical Center for tests, said police, who would not release their names on Sunday.

Their injuries were not life-threatening, police said.

The truck's driver, Henry Clay Taylor Jr., 39, of Albans, W.Va., was not injured, police said.

His trailer was disabled as a result of the accident, police said.

Several marijuana cigarettes and a pipe containing a trace amount of crack cocaine were found in Springs' car, police said.

Westbound I-68 was closed for about four hours following the accident, police said.

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