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One flown to Shock Trauma after head-on collision, police say at-fault driver may have been under the influence

Two people went to the hospital after a car driven by a woman suspected of being under the influence struck two vehicles on Md. 140 on Monday evening, police say.

Both collisions involved a Toyota Corolla with Pennsylvania tags, Maryland State Police Cpl. Michael Karas, of the Westminster barrack, said. The second, far more serious, crash occurred at Md. 140 and Hughes Shop Road at about 9:35 p.m.

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According to Westminster Volunteer Fire Department spokesperson Josh Evans, Maryland State Police Aviation took one driver, who firefighters freed from her vehicle, to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center by helicopter. The other driver was transported to Carroll Hospital by ambulance, he said. Both drivers, who were the sole occupants in their vehicles, suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Evans said. Neither Karas nor Evans was able to identify either driver.

The woman flown to Shock Trauma was trapped in her vehicle when firefighters arrived, according to Evans.

“It took the fire department approximately 15 minutes to extricate her and get her in the ambulance,” Evans said. “They had to remove the door to get her out.”

The at-fault driver in the crash is suspected of driving under the influence of controlled substances, pending the results of a blood test, according to Karas, who said her vehicle first struck one vehicle on Md. 140 then continued up the road and hit a second vehicle about a mile later.

An accident reconstructionist, Karas said a silver Toyota Corolla with Pennsylvania tags traveling north on Md. 140 first rear-ended a vehicle near Royer Road then continued northbound. Karas did not know the make and model of the first vehicle that was struck.

The Corolla then crossed over into the southbound lane and struck a silver Hyundai Santa Fe at the Hughes Shop Road intersection, according to Karas, noting why police suspect the driver of the Corolla was impaired.

“Drugs were found on her person and drug paraphernalia was found in the vehicle, the at-fault vehicle,” Karas said. “Hypodermic needles and suspected heroin was found on her.”

Charges against the driver are pending, according to Karas.

The Toyota and Hyundai were towed from the scene while the first-struck vehicle sustained minor damage, Karas said. No injuries were reported by the male driver whose vehicle was struck near Royer Road, Karas said.

“The whole front end was crushed like a tin can back into the windshield area,” Karas said of the Toyota. “The southbound car, the crush was more to the driver’s side as if she, at the last moment, steered to her right to try to avoid the collision. And then both vehicles came to a rest upright within probably 20, 25 feet of each other.”

He said he did not suspect the vehicles were traveling at a speed higher than the speed limit, based on the way the vehicles collided and came to an abrupt stop.

“The at-fault vehicle had damage on both sides of the car that matched the size and shape and height of a guard rail so she must have gone like a pinball from one side of the road to the other somewhere along [Md.] 140,” Karas said.

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