Maryland Highway Administration cited for’serious infractions’ in I-695 crash that killed 6 workers

According to a recent report from the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Act, the State Highway Administration has been found responsible for serious violations that played a role in the tragic deaths of six highway workers in a high-speed crash on I-695 earlier this year. As per the report, the violations were deemed significant enough to warrant serious action, and this incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of adhering to safety regulations and taking all necessary precautions to ensure the well-being of workers in hazardous environments.

According to the citation, the main issue is the absence of clear traffic control signs in the vicinity of the work zone. These signs are crucial in alerting drivers about any potential dangers on the road.

In a recent report, the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH), a division of the Maryland Department of Labor, identified the State Highway Administration (SHA) as having committed a “serious” violation for failing to display clear traffic control signs at hazardous points during a recent crash.

According to the report, drivers were not given prior notice of the concrete barrier opening near Woodlawn. This lack of warning led to a failure to post signs indicating that construction vehicles would be entering and exiting the work zone.

Highway workers would face the risk of being exposed to “struck-by hazards” based on this statement.

According to the State Highway Administration, the installation of signs would not have prevented the tragic accident that claimed six lives.

In a statement released by the agency, they emphasized that safety remains their utmost priority. The citation they received was linked to optional signs that were meant to warn drivers of potential construction vehicles entering the road. It’s worth noting though that the accident that happened did not involve any construction vehicle and that the signs in question would not have prevented the mishap. Moreover, the state highway administration has no plans to challenge or dispute the citation.

The act of citation does not come with any penalties or consequences.

In late March, a devastating crash occurred, resulting in the tragic loss of six highway workers. Both drivers involved in the incident have been charged as the crash was a result of their reckless driving at a high speed. According to troopers, one of the cars involved careened into the work zone, leading to the fatal accident. The incident is still under investigation.

According to the prosecutors, Melachi Brown was driving at an incredibly high speed of 121 mph when Lisa Lea’s car made contact with his own, causing her car to veer out of control and into the work zone where the workers were located. The impact of the collision resulted in the workers being struck by Lea’s car.

According to prosecutors, Lea was driving at an alarming speed of 108 mph when the accident occurred.

In December, the two defendants who are facing more than 50 charges will be tried in court together. If they are found guilty of all charges, they could potentially face over 70 years in prison.

The six contractual workers who tragically lost their lives in a work zone crash on I-695 construction in Baltimore have been identified by the Maryland State Police. The victims are Rolando Ruiz, 46, of Laurel; Carlos Orlando Villatoro Escobar, 43, of Frederick; Jose Armando Escobar, 52, of Frederick; Mahlon Simmons III, 31, of Union Bridge; Mahlon Simmons II, 52, of Union Bridge; and Sybil Lee Dimaggio, 46, of Glen Burnie. It is a heartbreaking loss for their families, friends, and colleagues.

Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller responded to the crash by forming a work zone safety work group that aims to improve safety measures at work sites. The group is currently brainstorming recommendations such as installing speed cameras, increasing fines for drivers who speed through work zones, and updating technology to enhance visibility for workers. As a result, Miller hopes to prevent future accidents and prioritize the safety of workers in these areas.

MBS Staff
MBS Staff
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