Maryland State Police are investigating a fatal crash that claimed the life of a highway worker and injured two others early this morning in Howard County.

The deceased victim is identified as Christopher Marsden, 34, of New Jersey. He was pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency medical service personnel. Investigators believe Marsden was standing outside of the work trucks on the scene at the time of the incident. He was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsy.

The injured victims are identified as Rickey Foster, Jr., 43, and James Gonzalez, 44, both of New Jersey. Foster was a passenger in a 2011 white Autocar, a work truck involved in the crash. Gonzalez was a pedestrian, standing outside of the work truck. Foster and Gonzalez were transported to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center where they are currently being treated for injuries sustained in the crash.

The suspected at-fault driver is identified as Frank William Hall, Jr., 38 of Frederick, MD. Hall was the driver and sole occupant of a red Jeep Wrangler involved in the crash. Hall was transported to Howard County General Hospital by ambulance. Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.

The operator of the 2011 white Autocar, Wayne Carter, 60, of New Jersey, was uninjured in the incident. Carter was sitting in a work truck at the time of the crash.

Shortly before 12:30 a.m. this morning, Maryland State Police at the Waterloo Barrack were dispatched to a crash scene reported on eastbound I-70 prior to Exit 87A, Route 29 in Ellicott City.  Troopers found a 2012 red Jeep Wrangler and a 2011 white Autocar, a work truck associated with the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration involved in the crash.

The preliminary investigation indicates the contracted highway workers were setting up to conduct a road work operation. There were four associated MDOT/SHA trucks and one vehicle parked and stationary on the right shoulder of I-70 near the southbound ramp of Route 29.  All four trucks, including the Autocar work truck involved in the crash had amber warning lights and amber arrow boards illuminated to alert motorists of the upcoming road work operation.

The Maryland State Police Crash Team responded to conduct the investigation.  Investigators believe the driver of the Jeep Wrangler, identified as Hall, was traveling eastbound on I-70 when he swerved and crashed into the rear of the Autocar work truck which subsequently killed one and injured two other workers. Troopers are investigating whether alcohol, speed and/or distraction were contributing factors in this crash.

The debris field caused by the crash is extensive and covers both lanes of eastbound I-70.  The investigation and cleanup will require the eastbound lanes of I-70 to be closed through the early morning hours.

State Highway Administration personnel responded and set up a detour for motorists in the area. Officers from the Howard County Police Department responded to assist at the scene. The Howard County Fire Department also responded for assistance.

The Maryland State Police Crash Team is investigating this case. Troopers are consulting this morning with the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office regarding charges. The investigation is active and ongoing…

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See the press release here:  https://news.maryland.gov/msp/2020/07/02/maryland-state-police-investigate-fatal-crash-in-howard-county/

Scott E

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