Second driver in Beltway crash that killed six people surrenders to state police

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Maryland State Police arrested Lisa Adrienne Lea, one of the two drivers charged in the Baltimore Beltway crash in March that resulted in the deaths of six construction workers.

Lea, a 54-year-old from Randallstown, turned herself in Wednesday at the Maryland State Police Golden Ring Barrack, where she is being processed, the state police said in a news release.


She was indicted by a grand jury Monday on charges of felony vehicular negligent manslaughter but police were not able to find her initially. She faces a total of 28 charges, including death of a vulnerable person, aggressive driving and driving while impaired by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. The indictment does not specify which drug Lea allegedly had taken.

Lea was driving an Acura TLX sedan on Interstate 695 north of the exits onto Interstate 70 and Security Boulevard and south of Liberty Road on March 22 when she attempted to move into the left lane. Her car collided with a Volkswagen Jetta operated by Melachi Duane Darnell Brown, 20, of Windsor Mill.


The Acura then traveled through a gap in the jersey barriers protecting the work site, striking six workers who died at the scene.

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Five of the victims — Rolando Ruiz, 46, of Laurel; Carlos Orlando Villatoro Escobar, 43, and his brother, Jose Armando Escobar, 52, both of Frederick; Mahlon Simmons III, 31, and his father, Mahlon Simmons II, 52, both of Union Bridge — were employees of Concrete General. Sybil Lee DiMaggio, 46, of Severna Park worked as an inspector for KCI Technologies.

They were working on a project to reduce congestion on the beltway from I-70 to Maryland 43 in White Marsh by converting portions of the existing median into a travel lane during rush hours.

Lea was seriously injured in the crash and treated at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Brown did not report any injuries.

On Tuesday, Baltimore County District Judge Kathleen Murphy ordered Brown, who also was charged with negligent vehicular manslaughter, to be held on home detention.

Baltimore County Assistant State’s Attorney said in court Tuesday that Brown was driving 111 mph when the Acura and the Volkswagen collided, according to data recorded by the vehicles and obtained by Maryland State Police. Both drivers were traveling faster than the work zone speed limit of 55 mph, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Brown’s defense attorney Michael Tomko said Lea “triggered” the accident by striking Brown’s car while changing lanes.

Online court records did not list an attorney for Lea, whose bail bond review hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday.