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98 Rock DJ charged with DUI

A popular Baltimore radio personality faces DUI charges after a three-car crash in Harford County on Sunday sent five people to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Stephen G. Smith, 48, of the 1600 block of Junius Court in Bel Air — known as Stash on radio station 98 Rock — was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, negligent driving, and other traffic offenses, police said.

In an email Tuesday, Smith — who has several other traffic cases pending — declined a request for comment. "I'm going through enough right now," he said. "I can't."

But he later confirmed that he was arrested Sunday, and he addressed a few points that he said were erroneously reported by some media outlets.

Police said Smith was driving a Nissan Quest north on Route 24 at an apparent high rate of speed when he struck the rear of a Hyundai stopped at the signal near the intersection with Interstate 95. The impact pushed that vehicle into an SUV, also stopped at the light. Smith drove about 300 feet north of the collision scene before stopping his vehicle, police said.

Smith, who had left his home minutes before the 9 p.m. accident, said he did not attempt to flee from the scene, nor is he charged with fleeing.

"I pulled the car out of the intersection and waited by the guardrail," he said.

Investigating officers said he was exhibiting signs typical of a person under the influence and was arrested at the scene.

The driver of the Hyundai and four passengers were taken by ambulance to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, where they were treated and later released, police said. The driver and passenger in the SUV did not sustain injuries serious enough to require hospitalization, police said.

Asked when he would return to his afternoon slot at the station, Smith declined to comment. Station management Wednesday declined comment.

Among Smith's other pending traffic cases is a court date Thursday in Towson for a speeding charge. He also was charged in Baltimore City in April with driving while his license was suspended, and is scheduled to be in court Oct. 5 in that case.

In Harford County, he was charged June 12 with failing to display his license on demand and speeding; he has an Aug. 14 court date.

In March, Smith was found guilty in Harford County Circuit Court of speeding and fined $90.

In October 2011, Smith was charged in Baltimore County with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving an unsafe vehicle on a highway, negligent driving and other offenses. He was found guilty of negligent driving and given probation before judgment on the driving while impaired charge. The other charges were dropped.

The Maryland State Police and the Harford County Sheriff's Office have targeted the Route 24 corridor as part of a combined traffic enforcement initiative. The effort grew from an increase in crashes and reports of dangerous driving in the area.

Staff writers Jessica Anderson, Kayla Bawroski and David Zurawik contributed to this article.

mary.gail.hare@baltsun.com

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