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Seat belts save people in six-vehicle wreck, police say

August 27, 2000

Seat belts save people in six-vehicle wreck, police say



Seat belts helped save four people injured Saturday in a six-vehicle collision that closed both east and westbound lanes of Interstate 70 in Hagerstown, Maryland State Police said.

Natrajan Subramanian, 25, of Oakton, Va., was charged with negligent driving, reckless driving, failure to control speed to avoid a collision, speed greater than reasonable for conditions (heavy traffic volume) and unsafe lane changing, police said.

The accident sent Sandra Roeder, 42, and Timothy Dix, 41, both of Baltimore; Kathy Sue Moran, 21, of Rawlings, Md.; and Christopher Carpenter, 25, of Hamilton, Ohio, to Washington County Hospital, where they were treated and released, police said.

Subramanian's 1998 Toyota Camry was traveling eastbound at a "high rate of speed" at about 3 p.m. when the car changed lanes and rear-ended Roeder's 1999 Camry, police said.

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The impact propelled Roeder's car, in which Dix was a passenger, end over end across the median and into the westbound lanes of I-70, where the car struck four other vehicles, police said.

Roeder's car hit Moran's 1994 Ford Explorer, Carpenter's 1988 Toyota truck, a 1991 Toyota truck driven by Richard Gann, 33, of Hagerstown, and a 1994 Saturn driven by David Ricketts, 39, of Charles Town, W.Va., police said.

The occupants of all the vehicles were wearing seat belts.

The seatbelt use and the deployment of airbags in Subramanian's and Roeder's cars "greatly reduced the severity of injuries sustained," said Trooper Robert Fraley, a collision reconstructionist with the Maryland State Police in Hagerstown.

The accident closed a lane eastbound and one lane of westbound I-70 for about an hour. A second lane of westbound I-70 was closed for about half-hour, police said.

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