The Washington Post

Man killed while pushing stalled truck in St. Mary’s

A St. Mary’s County man who was pushing his stalled truck in an apparent attempt to jumpstart it was struck and killed by another driver who unsuccessfully tried to avoid the darkened truck Friday night, authorities said.

The collision at about 7 p.m. southbound on Indian Bridge Road near Knotts Drive killed Dennis Mark Todd, 51 of California, Maryland, sheriffs said. The truck had no lights on and Todd was in dark clothing outside of his 1995 Mazda pick-up. Todd was standing in the door jamb pushing the truck in an effort to get enough speed to hop in and pop the clutch to start it, according to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office.

A 2007 Hyundai Tiburon driven by Joan Louise Farrar, 55, of Tall Timbers, Maryland, was traveling in the same lane when Farrar noticed the stalled truck and swerved into the northbound lanes to avoid it, but swerved back due to oncoming traffic and hit Todd, according to sheriffs.

No charges are pending against Farrar, said Cindy Allen, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office. Authorities said that speed, alcohol and drugs do not appear to have contributed to the crash.

Mary Pat Flaherty works on investigative and long-range stories. Her work has won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.

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