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Traffic accidents kill one, hurt five

May 31, 1999

Accident on Wilson Blvd.By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




A Virginia woman died and five people were hurt in two separate accidents on Frederick County highways on Memorial Day.

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The accidents led to major traffic backups on Interstates 70 and 270 Monday afternoon. State Highway Administration workers closed sections of the highways and set up detours as the scenes were cleared and helicopters and ambulances transported the injured to area hospitals.

According to Maryland State Police Trooper Kevin Zuzak, a 1996 Pontiac Sunfire was traveling south on Interstate 270 near Urbana, Md., at about 3:15 p.m. when for an unknown reason the car went across the median, turning sideways.

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The Pontiac was then struck by a 1995 Nissan, which was traveling northbound on Interstate 270, police said.

Jessica Maureen Chabot, 22, of Burke, Va., the passenger in the Pontiac, was killed.

The driver of the Pontiac, Leslie Ann Lovell, 21, also of Burke, Va., was flown by helicopter to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where she was listed in fair condition Monday evening.

The passenger in the Nissan, Sandra Brown May, 59, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va. was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital, where she was listed in fair condition.

The driver of the Nissan, Charles A. May Jr., 62, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., was not injured.

Zuzak said two other vehicles also were damaged as a result of the accident.

One car was struck with debris from the accident.

A Jeep Cherokee swerved to avoid the Pontiac and the Nissan and struck a speed limit sign on the side of the highway.

Zuzak said no one in those vehicles was injured, and both vehicles were driven away from the scene of the accident.

Zuzak said police were still investigating the accident.

Following a separate accident on Interstate 70, three people were taken by helicopter to Shock Trauma.

According to a report from Maryland State Police, at about 4:50 p.m. on Interstate 70 near the exit for Alternate U.S. 40, a 1999 Lexus sport utility vehicle was traveling east when it hit the guardrail, rolled over it, and came to rest about 30 feet down a bank.

The driver, Amit Kumar Rajvanshi, 40, of Potomac, Md., was not injured.

The passengers - Mone Rajvanshi, 35, Amar Rajvanshi, 12, and Sahill Rajvanshi, 6, all of Potomac - were flown to Shock Trauma. Their medical conditions were unavailable Monday evening.

As a result of the accidents, traffic was slowed, stopped or detoured along sections of Interstates 70 and 270.

At one point, eastbound traffic on Interstate 70 was backed up for about 10 miles, police said.

And northbound Interstate 270 was closed for about two hours after the accident there.

The accidents in Frederick County were the only major traffic accidents reported by area police departments on Monday.

Traffic along Interstate 81 through Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia was heavy but moving with no major delays reported by state police in Martinsburg, W.Va., Chambersburg, Pa., and Hagerstown.

Traffic along the rest of Intestate 70 in Washington County also was reported to be heavy and moving steadily, normal for a Memorial Day weekend, state police said.

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