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Md. 65 scene of two accidents

September 02, 2002

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

A young man "gawking" at an accident on Md. 65 near the Interstate 70 off-ramp rear-ended another car Friday afternoon and caused a chain reaction collision involving four cars including a state police cruiser, police said.

Norman Malik, 22, of Hagers-town, was driving his father's 1999 Lincoln Navigator south around 3:20 p.m. when he took his eyes off the road to look at the cars involved in the earlier accident, said Maryland State Police Cpl. Richard Poffenberger of the Hagerstown barrack.

When Malik looked back in front of him, he saw that traffic was stopped, but was unable to brake in time, Poffenberger said. Malik rear-ended a 1996 Buick Century driven by 79-year-old Jane Elizabeth Renner of Hagerstown.

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Renner's Buick slammed into the back of a marked 1996 Ford Crown Victoria driven by Maryland State Police Sgt. Louis Mastiano who was on duty and stopped in traffic, Poffenberger said.

Mastiano's cruiser rear-ended a 1997 Chevrolet Lumina driven by Jennifer J. Walsh, 50, of Sharpsburg.

Renner was treated at Washington County Hospital and released, Poffenberger said. Mastiano was treated for neck and back injuries and released from the hospital.

Malik was charged with negligent driving.

Everybody involved in the wreck was wearing a seat belt, Poffenberger said. Malik was probably going 20 to 30 mph at the time, he said.

The first accident - which occurred about 40 minutes earlier - involved two cars with several people who received minor injuries, Poffenberger said. Police were wrapping up that on-scene investigation when the chain-reaction wreck started, Poffenberger said.

He did not investigate the earlier accident and could not provide additional information.

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