Maryland Commercial Truck Accident Report: Washington County Motorist Injured in I-81 Traffic Collision

Car, truck and motorcycle accidents happen for a variety of reasons, but not every traffic collision is caused by just one person or a single event. While a commercial truck or car crash can result in one person being charged with negligent driving, some traffic mishaps can precipitate from a mechanical problem, badly located traffic signage, or poorly maintained roadway.

Occasionally, a third party can be named in a civil suit when there is evidence that actions by that person or entity may have resulted in injury or death of an individual as a result of a traffic accident. As Maryland personal injury lawyers and automobile accident attorneys, I and my colleagues investigate the possible causes of car and commercial truck crashes in an effort to determine fault.

Defective vehicle equipment is one area that holds potential for injury and even death of vehicle occupants. Poorly designed or incorrectly manufactured parts, such as brake components, steering systems, tires and airbags, can have a contributory effect on a motor vehicle accident. Similarly, badly maintained or poorly designed intersections and highway ramps can even play a role in a severe or deadly road accidents.

Not long ago, a Washington County, MD, man was critically injured on a stretch of Interstate 81 where it crosses over the Potomac River. News reports indicate that emergency pothole repairs on a bridge span may have been a factor in the accident that sent a 45-year-old Funkstown resident to the hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries.

According to news reports, Thomas McDonald, Jr., was driving a Kia Rio southbound along I-81 near Cearfoss Pike when traffic ahead apparently came to an abrupt halt due to pothole repairs on that side of the roadway. Police reports showed that the Kia hit the back end of a semi tractor-trailer rig that was stopped in the right-hand lane of the interstate. According to police, traffic was also stopped in the fast lane when the crash occurred; just after 4:30pm.

According to Maryland State Police, the force of the collision with the 18-wheeler damaged the Kia so much that it took emergency responders nearly a half-hour to free the driver from the wrecked auto. McDonald apparently received numerous life-threatening injuries as a result of the crash. The victim was taken by medevac helicopter to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma center in Baltimore for treatment. At the time of the news report, the hospital had the man listed in serious yet stable condition.

Based on news items, it took police and emergency responders almost two hours to clean up the crash scene and reopen the southbound lanes of the bridge. A highway administration official told reporters that the pothole in question was identified the previous Thursday, after which repairs were effected that evening and on Saturday. However, another temporary repair was being made the morning of the crash. Apparently, the pothole required a permanent repair, which was finished later on the evening of the crash. The right-hand side of the southbound lanes was shut down in order for repair crews to remove an 8-foot-square piece of the bridge decking and pour new concrete in its place.

Funkstown man in serious condition following I-81 crash,, May 31, 2011
Interstate 81 driver seriously hurt in accident TuesdayYellow Pages,, June 1, 2011

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