A multivehicle crash that left five people injured and snarled traffic for two hours in Northeast Baltimore yesterday morning might have been caused by someone who had abruptly slowed or stopped on Interstate 95, causing the chain-reaction accident, authorities said.
Four vehicles, including a box truck, a work van and two sport-utility vehicles, were involved in at least two collisions on the highway's southbound lanes, near the split with Interstate 895, a spokesman for the Maryland Transportation Authority Police said.
The accident occurred shortly after 7 a.m., and the highway was quickly shut down, with traffic diverted onto I-895. The crash also caused problems on other roads, triggering significant backups on the Baltimore Beltway and U.S. 40.
Police diverted the morning rush-hour traffic onto I-895 while emergency crews worked to extricate at least one person who had been trapped inside a Jeep. The truck had tipped over, and a portion of the truck's rear had come to rest on top of the Jeep's passenger cabin.
They had to use a winch to lift the truck off the SUV and get the passenger out.
The passenger was flown by medevac helicopter to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. The person's injuries were not considered life-threatening, said Cpl. Jonathan Green, a Maryland Transportation Authority Police spokesman.
Green said a preliminary review found that the box truck and the Jeep collided after trying to avoid another SUV and a van that had crashed in front of them, after one had slowed or stopped.
The people in the other SUV and the van also suffered some injuries. Two were taken by ambulance to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, and two others were taken by ambulance to University of Maryland Medical Center.
Green said their injuries were not considered serious.