Maryland Tractor-Trailer Driver Dies in Multi-Vehicle Crash As His Truck Plunges Off the Bay Bridge into the Chesapeake Bay

Maryland resident John Robert Short, a tractor-trailer driver, died, in a deadly three-motor vehicle crash on the Bay Bridge on Sunday morning after his truck fell into the Chesapeake Bay. The Maryland Transportation Authority Police say that this is the first time in the bridge’s 56-year history that a motor vehicle has fallen off the bridge into the water. The deadly accident caused major traffic delays all day on Sunday on both sides of US 50, and traffic continued to be slow on Monday morning.

Also involved in the crash were a Toyota Prius and a Chevrolet Camaro. Two people in the Camaro were taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment. The two people in the Prius did not sustain any injuries.

The deadly crash happened before 4am on Sunday when two-way traffic was being directed on the eastbound span (the westbound span was closed for repairs). Short’s tractor-trailer slammed into the jersey wall, leaving a 10-15 foot opening, before falling at least 30 feet into the water. Police have yet to give their account of what happened during the crash.

The driver of the Prius, Seung Won Hong, gave his account of the crash to the newspaper the Baltimore Sun. Hong says that the Camaro and the truck collided, causing the tractor-trailer to spin out of control and strike Hong’s car before it crashed into the wall.

Gary McLhinney, a former Transportation Authority Police Chief, says that two-way traffic on a single span “has the potential to be disastrous.” At this point, however, authorities have no way of knowing whether two-way traffic helped cause the deadly crash.

Regina Averella, an AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson says that most deadly crashes on the Bay Bridge have happened when two-way traffic was in effect. In May 2007, five people got hurt and three people died in a seven-vehicle collision that took place in two-way traffic on the westbound span.

Driver dies as truck plunges off Bay Bridge,, August 11, 2008
Truck Driver Dies In Bay Bridge Crash, Washington Post, August 11, 2008

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Bay Bridge, Maryland Transportation Authority

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