Pregnant Woman, Baby Fatally Injured When Truck Hits Van

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 24, 2008

A pregnant woman and her baby were fatally injured in Anne Arundel County yesterday when the family minivan was struck by a tractor-trailer after halting for a funeral procession, Maryland State Police said.

Police said the woman, Maria J. Lizama-Sanchez, 31, of Secluded Post Circle in Glen Burnie, was flown by state police helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore after the crash.

She was thought to be seven months pregnant, and because of the severity of her injuries, doctors had to deliver the child she was carrying, police said.

The child was born but died about 12:30 p.m. -- an hour after the crash -- of what doctors thought were injuries from the crash, which occurred near Glen Burnie, police said.

Lizama-Sanchez died about 1 1/2 hours later, also as a result of crash injuries, police said.

Based on a preliminary investigation, state police said county police had stopped traffic on southbound Interstate 97 at state Route 100 to let a funeral procession turn onto I-97.

For reasons still unknown, police said in a statement, a southbound tractor-trailer failed to stop. They said the truck struck the rear of the Dodge Caravan that Lizama-Sanchez was riding in. The minivan was driven by her husband, Walter Sanchez, 36, who was injured, police said.

Police said the Caravan was forced off the road and then struck a pickup, whose driver was unhurt. The tractor-trailer hit another vehicle, which was forced into a third, which struck a fourth, police said.

All the vehicles but the tractor-trailer were stopped when the crash occurred, police said. The investigation is continuing.

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