Two people were fatally injured in Maryland early Saturday on Interstate 95 in a fiery crash that state police said may have stemmed from an incident of road rage.
Preliminary investigation indicated that the two who died were in a car that collided with another vehicle and burst into flames on the Interstate in Harford County. The car apparently had pulled onto the highway after someone pounded on its windows, the police said.
A state trooper extricated the two victims from their burning car, the police said. The two were identified as Veney B. Tanner, Jr., 31, of Abingdon, Md., the driver, and Janelle E. Jackson, 17, of Baltimore, a passenger.
The trooper, Cpl. Kevin Watkins, who was off duty when he came upon the scene, also extricated a third person from the burning vehicle, police said. That man was taken to a hospital along with a man from the other vehicle in the crash, the state police said.
The trooper was also injured, police said. They said he was treated for smoke inhalation at a hospital and then released.
The crash occurred about 2 a.m. at Route 24 near Abingdon in Harford County, about 60 miles northeast of Washington.
In a statement, the state police said preliminary investigation indicated that the incident “may have begun with some type of traffic dispute between Tanner and the occupants” of a Jeep, as both vehicles headed north.
According to police, investigators were told that the Jeep stopped suddenly, forcing Tanner to stop.
The two vehicles pulled to the shoulderjust beyond the exit for Route 24, police said.
Several persons “ were seen getting out of the Jeep,” and at least one “was banging on the windows” of Tanner’s vehicle, the state police statement said.
Police said their investigation indicated that Tanner pulled away from the shoulder and turned his vehicle to the left, across the northbound lanes. As he entered the fast lane, police said, he was struck by a northbound box truck. It was driven by the second person injured, police said.
After the crash, the victims’ car caught fire, state police said. The occupants of the Jeep apparently got back into the vehicle and it left, the police said.
The northbound lanes of I-95 remained closed at the site for about five hours, the state police said. They said traffic detoured around the affected area.