Howard County police believe speed was a factor as a car left the road and overturned into a sediment pond off Route 100 near Executive Park Drive Monday afternoon. Police said they are investigating whether the driver of the Ford Edge, identified as 38-year-old Brendan Langhauser, of Hanover, Pa., was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Police said Tuesday morning that Langhauser remains in critical condition .
Minutes before the crash, police said, Langhauser was involved in two hit-and-runs, striking vehicles on Interstate 70 and Route 29 before getting onto Route 100 around 1:30 p.m. According to witnesses, Langhauser first crashed his vehicle into a Ford SUV on westbound I-70 after stopping his vehicle in the driving lane and putting it into reverse.
The SUV driver, a 75-year-old woman, was the only occupant and was not injured, police said.
Shortly after, Langhauser was driving on Route 29 and sideswiped a Ford van in a neighboring lane, police said. The driver, a 33-year-old man, was not injured and no one else was in the van.
Police said Langhauser continued driving on southbound Route 29 after the second hit-and-run and then traveled onto Route 100 eastbound, where witnesses reported his car drifting to the right side of the road before hitting a guardrail and overturning into a pond.
The county fire department’s water rescue team pulled Langhauser from his vehicle, and he was taken to Howard County General Hospital in critical condition.
One lane was shut down on eastbound Route 100 for two hours Monday afternoon.
Severn resident Albert Furlow said he was driving from Frederick when he saw “this big puff of smoke” and several cars veering to the right side of Route 100. Nearby, Furlow said he saw a mangled guardrail still moving and debris across the roadway.
“I ran down the embankment and saw the car upside down in the water,” said Furlow, who then jumped into the pond. “I opened the passenger door to see if I could feel for whoever it was and try to pull them out that way. I looked over and there was another gentleman next to me who got in the water as [the car] was sinking.”
Several other drivers pulled over to offer help, Furlow said. Shortly after running to his car to get a crow bar to try to pry the vehicle’s back door open, he said the water rescue team arrived, got the driver out of his vehicle and started CPR.
“I haven’t done something like this since I left the service,” he said, tearfully. Furlow served 20 years with the U.S. Army Special Forces as a Green Beret and retired in 2004.
Cold and numb, he said he did not detect any movement inside the vehicle when trying to help the driver.
“When someone’s life is involved, you do the best you can to help,” Furlow said. “I just hope he is fine.”