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One killed, as tractor trailer and dump truck collide on I-95 in Perryville

BY KRISHANA DAVIS, kdavis@baltsun.com

3:36 PM EDT, April 1, 2014

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One person was killed when a tractor trailer and a dump truck collided on northbound I-95 near Perryville Monday morning, Maryland State Police said.

Officers responded to the scene around 11:23 a.m. to find both vehicles on the right shoulder of the interstate, police said in a news release. The tractor trailer was fully engulfed in flames and the driver, later identified as John Franklin Heaton, 46, trapped inside.

Heaton was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The driver of the dump truck, Gerald Harrington Daniel Jr., 59, was not injured.

Traffic was snarled through the area for more than three hours following the accident; the accident scene was finally cleared shortly after 3 p.m., according to State Police spokesman Sgt. Marc Black.

The crash occurred around 11:16 a.m. just north of the Route 222 overpass at the 93.7 mile marker, said PCS Richards of the JFK Memorial Highway Barrack on I-95 in Perryville. The crash site was northeast of the Tydings Bridge toll booths.

Each vehicle had one occupant, Richards said, and no hospital transport was requested.

According to an initial investigation by state police, the dump truck was attempting to merge onto I-95 from northbound Route 222. The truck slowed to allow vehicles traveling in the right lane of I-95 to pass him before merging into traffic.

The tractor trailer was traveling behind the dump truck, also trying to merge onto I-95, police said. The tractor trailer failed to yield to the dump truck and struck it in the travel/merge lane of the ramp and I-95.

Police said the force of the collision caused the tractor trailer's load, nine concrete barriers, to shift forward and penetrate the front cab of the tractor. The cab caught fire and then hit the right shoulder guardrail.

No pre-impact skidding was observed, police said.

Police said the northbound lanes of I-95 were closed for about 30 minutes while an investigation was underway.

Police and towing equipment remained on the scene until after 2:30 p.m., and the northbound entrance ramp from Route 222 to I-95 was also closed for more than two hours. Northbound traffic was also backed up at the Tydings Bridge toll barrier until after the scene was cleared.