“He’s headed toward Route 50. If he gets that far, there’s going to be a real problem. … I don’t want him to hit somebody.”
Those words, from a driver on I-97 calling police about a car headed the wrong way on the highway, turned sadly prophetic early Saturday.
Police were not able to catch up to the red sedan filled with three teenagers before it got onto the wrong side of U.S. 50 — heading west in the eastbound lanes — before it slammed head on into a black BMW near Route 424 south of Crofton.
All three teens — recent graduates of two Anne Arundel County high schools — and the driver of the BMW were killed. Maryland State Police said the drivers of both vehicles had been drinking. Read the story on the crash.
Police and fire officials have released the 911 tapes, which you can listen to here. One driver called police after passing the sedan miles north of I-97, head south in the northbound lanes:
“Going to need police. There’s a guy going the wrong way on 97. He’s on the northbound side going toward Annapolis. … He’s probably about four miles before Route 50. He just came past me in the left lane. I said, ‘Oh my God.’ … There’s not much traffic. … I don’t think they had a clue they were on the wrong side of the road. … He’s headed toward Route 50. If he gets that far, there’s going to be a real problem.”
The man continued to talk to a 911 operator:
“That was kind of wacky. All of a sudden I saw these lights … He’s on my side of the highway. I just stayed chilled. … Maybe somebody can flag him. … I’m trying to think where the heck did he get on? I’m sure he’s close to Route 50 now, if he’s doing 65. … I don’t want him to hit somebody I hope you get him and they everybody is OK.”