Three people, including two children, were killed and two others were seriously injured yesterday when a sport utility vehicle crashed on Interstate 95 near Elkton in Cecil County, said a state police spokesman.
The crash occurred about five miles south of the Delaware line, and the names of the dead and injured were being withheld pending notification of family members, said Sgt. Thornnie Rouse, the spokesman.
A woman driving the SUV and an adult male passenger were from the Baltimore area, Rouse said. He did not know their relationship to the children.
About 4:30 p.m., a 2002 Ford Explorer was heading north in the left lane of I-95, northwest of Elkton and north of Deaver Road, when the unidentified driver of a black Volkswagen Jetta, possibly with Delaware tags, left the middle lane, cut in front of the SUV and continued on, said Rouse.
At the time of the accident, the right lane was closed because of construction, Rouse said.
The SUV's driver lost control of the vehicle, quickly drifted onto rumble strips that warn drivers they have left the roadway and glanced off a guardrail, Rouse said.
He said the driver of the Ford Explorer apparently over-corrected in an effort to get back onto the interstate and that the vehicle continued for a short distance before it flipped over between seven and eight times.
Rouse said the violent tumbling and twisting of the SUV caused three children to be thrown from the vehicle and land on the pavement. "It was a gruesome sight," Rouse said. He said the children might not have been wearing seatbelts. "Had they been wearing them," he said, "they probably would not have been thrown from the vehicle."
He said the driver and an adult male passenger were wearing their seatbelts.
Rouse said the man in the SUV and one of the ejected children were pronounced dead at the scene. A second child was flown by state police helicopter to Johns Hopkins Hospital's pediatric intensive care unit, but died shortly after arriving there.
A third child was also flown to Hopkins and was admitted in critical condition.
He could not immediately say how old the children were.
Rouse said the driver was flown by state police helicopter to Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del., and was reported in serious condition.
Rouse said northbound I-95 traffic was detoured onto Maryland Route 272 at Elkton for more than four hours before it was reopened at about 9 p.m.
Anyone knowing the identity of the driver of the Volkswagen is urged to call state police at the Kennedy barracks at 410-537-1150.