The Bel Air Bypass was closed in both directions between Route 24 and Vale Road for about 7 hours Friday after a three-vehicle, head-on, double-fatality accident occurred around 5 p.m.
Four people were trapped in one of the vehicles – a minivan believed to be carrying several children – and two Medevac helicopters have transported the pediatric patients to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. A Johns Hopkins doctor was also transported to the scene of the accident by helicopter to help rescuers remove two additional victims who were said to be heavily entrapped in a vehicle. A third Medevac was on the way to take yet another pediatric patient to the hospital.
Traffic was stopped in both directions and backed up to a standstill at Tollgate Road. By 6:45 p.m. reports indicated at least two people had died from the injuries sustained in the crash.
Here’s what Maryland State Police said:
TROOPERS ON THE SCENE OF MULTI-VEHICLE FATAL CRASH IN HARFORD COUNTY
(Belair, MD) – Maryland State Police are on the scene of a multi-vehicle crash involving three vehicles traveling on the Route 1 bypass that claimed the lives of two people.
Two people have been pronounced dead at the scene. Names are not being released at this time because positive identifications and notifications to family members have not been made.
The injured are identified as Christopher Lentz, 37, of Glen Arm, Maryland, and Bryan Kearchner, 36, of Delta, Pennsylvania. There are two additional injured victims whose names are being withheld pending family notification.
At approximately 5:00 p.m. today, Maryland State Police from the Belair Barrack responded to the Route 1 bypass, north of Route 24, in Harford County for a reported serious motor vehicle crash. Upon arrival, troopers found three vehicles had been involved in the crash and two persons were deceased at the scene.
Although in the early stages of the investigation, preliminary information indicates the vehicle operated by Christopher Lentz, a Jeep Cherokee, was traveling on the southbound shoulder of the Route 1 bypass. For unknown reasons, Lentz crossed the center line and struck a Saturn mini-van head-on which was traveling northbound in lane two. The mini-van, carrying four passengers, spun out of control and subsequently struck a 2004 Ford van being operated by Bryan Kearchner. Kearchner was reportedly traveling behind the Saturn mini-van in the same direction..
There were two adults and two children in the Saturn mini-van. The driver was flown to Shock Trauma and one of the two children was flown to the Johns Hopkins Hospital. The other two passengers, an adult and another child, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Lentz, the driver of the Jeep Cherokee, was flown to Shock Trauma with injuries deemed serious at the time of the crash. Kearchner, the driver of the Ford van was transported by ambulance to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
At this time, north and southbound lanes of the Route 1 bypass will be closed until approximately
11:30 p.m. while troopers from the Belair Barrack and the Maryland State Police Crash Team investigate the incident. State Highway Administration personnel are on the scene diverting traffic around the area.
Two Maryland State Police medevacs and The University of Maryland Shock Trauma Go-Team responded to the scene. The Harford County Sheriff’s Office and emergency personnel from Harford County, Belair and the Fallston Fire Departments also responded for assistance.
This investigation is continuing…
According to WJZ.com:
BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) Rescuers respond to a three-vehicle crash on the Bel Air bypass in Harford County.
Mike Perry reports six people are trapped in a van following the crash that happened just after 5 p.m. Friday south of Route 24.
Another vehicle had heavy front end damage. Rescuers extricated someone from that vehicle.
Three medevac choppers have been requested to the scene.
And now Maryland State Police has identified the victims:
VICTIMS IDENTIFIED IN FATAL CRASH IN HARFORD COUNTY
(Belair, MD) –The four victims occupying a mini-van in the multi-vehicle fatal crash on the Route 1 bypass yesterday evening in Harford County have been identified.
The deceased victims are identified as Katherine S. Brady, 31, and Wilson Brady, 10, of the 4200 block of Soth Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland. Katherine was the front seat passenger. Wilson was one of two children seated in the rear of the vehicle. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.
The two injured victims, of the same address, who were also in the mini-van have been identified. The driver, Stephen M. Brady, 32, was flown to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma. The second child seated in the rear, Ian Brady, 2, was flown to the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Both remain in serious, but stable condition.
Charges are pending against the driver of a Jeep Cherokee, Christopher Lentz, 37, of Glen Arm, Maryland. Lentz was operating the Cherokee when he swerved into oncoming traffic and struck the mini-van head-on in the crash at approximately 5:00 p.m. yesterday evening. The mini-van then spun out of control causing a subsequent crash with a 2004 Ford van which was traveling behind the Brady family.
Bryan Kearchner, 36, of the unit-block of Adams Road in Delta, Pennsylvania, was the operator of the Ford van. He was transported by ambulance with non life-threatening injuries to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
Troopers from the Belair Barrack and the Maryland State Police CRASH team are consulting with the Harford County’s State Attorney regarding the incident as the investigation continues.
The Route 1 bypass was closed down for approximately seven hours while investigators gathered evidence and conducted the preliminary investigation. Emergency assistance at the scene was provided by Maryland State Police Aviation, the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Go-Team, the State Highway Administration, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Harford County, Belair and Fallston Fire Departments.
This investigation is ongoing…