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Woman killed on I-70 when tow truck hits tractor-trailer

August 08, 2011|By DAVE MCMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • A Maryland state trooper investigates a fatal accident Monday afternoon that involved a tractor-trailer and tow truck on eastbound Interstate 70 near the Frederick County, Md., line.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

The co-driver of a tractor-trailer who stepped outside the rig to make an adjustment on it while it was parked along Interstate 70 near the Frederick County, Md., line died Monday afternoon after the tractor-trailer was struck from behind by a tow truck and she was thrown into a guardrail, according to police.

The woman was pronounced dead at Meritus Medical Center near Hagerstown, according to Maryland State Police Sgt. Stacey Cain.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, which was heading up South Mountain, pulled off to the side of I-70 near the 37-mile marker because the rig was overheating, Cain said.

The tow truck was traveling in the right lane and went off the interstate, striking the rear of the tractor-trailer, Cain said.

The woman who was killed was outside of the rig by the front part of the truck when the front section was knocked into her as a result of the collision, Cain said. The woman was then thrown into the guardrail, Cain said.
The other driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured, Cain said.

Cain said she could not release the name of the woman because authorities were trying to contact her family members Monday evening. Cain said she believed the woman was from Baltimore.

It was unclear what caused the tow truck to veer off the interstate, Cain said.

Witnesses did not notice any motorists around the tow truck driver that could have forced him off the interstate, Cain said. The man, whose name was not available, was driving a tow truck from a company in Berkeley County, W.Va., Cain said.

The tow truck driver was flown to Meritus Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening, Cain said.

The tow truck was hauling an Audi, but it was unclear if the vehicle was on the flatbed portion of the truck or if it was being towed, Cain said.

All eastbound lanes of the interstate were closed at the scene of the crash at 2:55 p.m., police said.

One eastbound lane was later reopened but vehicles in the right lane of eastbound I-70 at the U.S. 40 Hagerstown exit were detoured onto eastbound U.S. 40 and into Frederick County, state police said.

Traffic crash reconstructionists were sent to the scene, state police said.
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