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Three injured in three-car wreck tying up I-97 traffic for hours

A cluster of emergency vehicles working at wreck site block the two lanes from I-97 southbound to Route 50 East. The 4 p.m. accident kept the road shut down until just after 6:30 p.m. creating a backup on I-97 over six miles long.
A cluster of emergency vehicles working at wreck site block the two lanes from I-97 southbound to Route 50 East. The 4 p.m. accident kept the road shut down until just after 6:30 p.m. creating a backup on I-97 over six miles long. (Maryland CHART)

A three-car accident at the exit from I-97 to eastbound Route 50 sent three to an area hospital and tied up traffic for hours Thursday evening.

The wreck was reported at about 4 p.m. just as rush hour was building.

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Anne Arundel County Fire spokesman Lt. Erik Kornmeyer said three people were transported to Anne Arundel Medical Center with minor injuries.

The accident happened when a car failed to stop in halted traffic on the ramp. That vehicle hit the vehicle in front of it which, in turn, hit a Maryland Transportation Authority patrol vehicle in front of it, Lt. Kevin Ayd of the MTA police said.The officer was one of three taken to the hospital but has since been released, Ayd said.

The accident cleanup took until just after 6:30 p.m. effectively shutting down access from southbound I-97 to Route 50 east during the busiest time of day for that stretch of road.

Traffic was halted then started moving at a crawl on southbound I-97. The resulting backup stretched well past the Benfield Road exit, over 6 miles away.

The accident scene was finally cleared about 6:40 p.m. but traffic tie-ups persisted for about another hour according to Maryland CHART traffic camera observations.



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