Police now say three accidents closed Md. 140 Thursday

Baltimore County police have provided additional information on the multiple vehicle crashes that shut down Md. 140 near the Carroll County line on Thursday.

What was initially reported to have been two crashes is now understood to have been three separate incidents in which rain may have been a factor, according to spokeswoman Natalie Litofsky. In total, four people were transported to area hospitals with suspected serious injuries, she said.


The first accident occurred around 11:42 a.m. Thursday, when a vehicle southbound on Md. 140 failed to stop behind two other vehicles that were stopped in the road at the intersection with Glenn Falls Road, Litofsky said. The third vehicle in the line of cars struck the back of the second, which in turn struck the back of the first car in the line, and this minor pileup caused a fourth vehicle to crash into the back of the third vehicle.

This crash was not particularly serious, Litofsky said, but it did cause traffic to back up on the bridge on the southbound side of Md. 140, which, in combination with the rain Thursday, may have caused the second accident at around 1:45 p.m.

"A car started hydroplaning when it was coming up on the backup. That car ended up first hitting a guardrail and after striking a guardrail, it caused the car to spin and hydroplane into the northbound side," she said. "When it spun into the northbound lanes, it struck a second car, and then both the first car and the second car got pushed another lane over into the northbound side and struck a third car."

This accident caused both sides of Md.140 to be shut down, according to Litofsky. The four occupants of the first two vehicles in the second crash, two per car, were transported to Sinai and Carroll hospitals with "suspected serious injuries," she said, a term used by police officers based on their experience, but not medical training.

A third crash occurred at 2:05 p.m. on the northbound side of Md. 140, at the intersection with Woodfield Court, and the rain was again a factor, according to Litofsky. There were vehicles making U-turns because of the traffic back up and the first vehicle in the third crash had to come to a sudden stop.

"That person hit the brakes, and the vehicle also hydroplaned and went off the roadway on the right hand side and hit a support pole for a traffic light," she said. "When the car hit the support pole, the back end of the car swung out and hit a second car that was passing by. It was quite a mess."

Although the exact causes of the accidents will not be determined for up to a week as investigators work on their report, Litofsky said the weather certainly appeared to have been a factor. She said police would like to remind drivers to take extra care when driving in foul weather and to remember that Maryland law requires headlights be turned on whenever windshield wipers are engaged.

"And a lot of people think that if you have daytime running lights then that is sufficient, but it is not because that does not turn on your tail lights," Litofsky said. "It's something a lot of people don't think about, but the headlights requirement is not just for seeing in front of you, it's what turns your tail lights on and gives drivers behind you more of an opportunity to brake."