Howard County man jumps off I-695 after 4 car collision

A Howard County man jumped off of Interstate 695 into the Patapsco River after causing a four-car collision Wednesday night, state police and county fire department officials said.

Rene Ruiz, 33, of Elkridge, was driving on the beltway’s shoulder in the Linthicum area by Hammond’s Ferry Road when he hit three cars and then jumped 20 feet into the shallow water below once his own vehicle was disabled, state police spokesman Sgt. DaVaughn Parker said.

Anne Arundel County Fire Lt. Russ Davies said units were called to the scene at 8:15 p.m. when they found a pileup across both eastbound and westbound lanes. While investigating, fire personnel was told someone was missing and jumped into the river. Firefighters spotted Ruiz in the shallow water below and put a 35 foot extension ladder over the bridge to rescue him, Davies said.

Ruiz was taken by county fire to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma center in Baltimore, where he was later arrested by state police after being discharged. Ruiz was processed in the Glen Burnie barrack, where his charges are pending, Parker said.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash, Parker said. Two other people were taken to St. Agnes Hospital with minor injuries, Davies said.

Both lanes of I-695 were shut down for 30 minutes after the accident, Parker said.

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