Popular 98 Rock radio personality Stash was arrested for driving under the influence Sunday night after police said he was involved in a three-vehicle crash in Abingdon which sent at least five people to the hospital.
Stephen G. Smith, 48, of Bel Air was arrested and charged with DUI and other traffic offenses following a three-vehicle crash which occurred on state Route 24 at Interstate 95 in Abingdon shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday, Maryland State Police said.
Smith’s 2006 Nissan Quest was northbound on Route 24 at “an apparent high rate of speed” when state police said it struck the rear of a 2011 Hyundai which was stopped at a red light, pushing it forward into the rear of a 2009 Nissan SUV also stopped at the light.
Smith then traveled through the intersection and an additional 300 feet north of the collision scene.
Troopers determined that Smith was exhibiting signs of being under the influence of alcohol, and was charged with DUI, negligent driving, and other offenses.
The driver of the Hyundai, Heather Manto, 34, of Bel Air and her four passengers, Todd Fisher, 30, of York, Pa., Joshua Stavrakoglou, 28, of Baltimore, Joshua Cowan, 32, also of Baltimore, and Harvey Dail, 29, of Abingdon were all transported to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, where they were treated and later and released.
The driver of the 2009 Nissan Suv, Clinton Cottrell Sr., 48, and his passenger, Katherine Cottrell, 47, both of Bel Air, were not injured.
One of those injured in the crash told The Dagger that Smith attempted to leave the scene shortly after the crash, and was seen throwing items including beer cans out of his car window. When first approached, the victim said, Smith identified himself as “Stash from 98 Rock.”
Smith did not appear on Harford County Detention Center logs, according to Monica Worrell, spokeswoman for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. Those involved or charged in such accidents may not necessarily be taken to the facility’s Interagency Processing Center, she said, depending on their injuries and other factors of the judicial process.
Smith was not on the air in his usual afternoon drive-time slot Monday. By Monday evening, a link on the 98 Rock web page to Stash’s “jock” profile was missing, and his Twitter account had been disabled. No mention of any weekend event appeared on the 98 Rock Facebook page.
On December 3, 2007, Stash slipped and fell 14 steps at his home; resulting in a skull fracture with a contusion of the brain. He was hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit with a breathing tube and had to undergo rehabilitation to regain speech and motor skills – including relearning to speak and write.
According to a WBAL TV-11 story, which originally aired on May 15, 2008, Stash was taking up to six doses of painkillers a day, and developed a strong dependency on the drugs. He sought treatment at Maryland General Hospital and eventually went to a detoxification ward.
During his interview at the time, WBAL-TV commented that Stash said he had decided his drinking days were over.
“I think maybe before I was running a little too hard, going a little too fast, chasing the rock and roll thing super hard, and I’m still going to chase it a little bit, but I’ve got that established and what’s important really is loving my family as much as I can,” Stash said.
“It turns out that a bang on my head was maybe what I needed to see the whole picture, to see everything I was missing,” he added.
The full WBAL TV-11 interview can be viewed here.
From the Maryland State Police, Bel Air Barrack:
(Abingdon, MD) On Sunday, July 22, 2012, shortly after 9:00 pm, troopers from the Maryland State Police Bel Air Barrack responded to a three car crash on northbound Route 24 at I-95, in Abingdon, Md., that injured five people and resulted in the arrest of a Harford County man for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Upon arrival, it was determined that a 2006 Nissan Quest was traveling
northbound on Route 24 at an apparent high rate of speed and struck the rear of a 2011 Hyundai, which was stopped at the red traffic signal. The impact pushed the Hyundai forward into the rear of a 2009 Nissan SUV, also stopped at the red light. The Nissan Quest then traveled through the intersection and an additional 300 feet north of the collision scene.
Troopers found the operator of the Nissan Quest to be Stephen G. Smith, 48, of Bel Air, Md. Troopers investigating the crash determined Smith was exhibiting signs of a person under the influence and he was arrested at the scene. Smith was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, negligent driving, and other traffic offenses. The driver of the Hyundai was Heather Manto, 34, of Bel Air, Md. In addition to Manto, there were four passengers in the Hyundai who included: Todd Fisher, 30, of York, Pa., Joshua Stavrakoglou, 28, of Baltimore, Joshua Cowan, 32, also of Baltimore, and Harvey Dail, 29, of Abingdon. All five occupants of the Hyundai were transported by ambulance to the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center where they were treated and later released.
The driver of the 2009 Nissan SUV was Clinton Cottrell Sr., 48, and his
passenger was Katherine Cottrell, 47, both of Bel Air. Neither person was transported to a medical facility.
The Rt. 24 corridor has been an area of recent focused enforcement efforts by the Maryland State Police and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office as part of their combined traffic enforcement initiative. This increased police enforcement is the result of an increase in traffic crashes and incidents of dangerous driving reported in the area.