Six highway workers killed on I-695 after driver loses control changing lanes

Published 3/22/2023 1:25 p.m. EDT, Updated 3/27/2023 6:37 p.m. EDT

A vehicle sits overturned in a construction zone on the Baltimore Beltway on March 22, 2023. Six construction workers were killed in the crash.

Six highway workers died Wednesday afternoon after a driver crashed her vehicle while changing lanes, lost control and entered a construction zone on the Baltimore Beltway near I-70, according to a preliminary investigation from the Maryland State Police.

Investigators believe Lisa Adrienne Lea, of Randallstown, was driving a gray Acura when she tried to move into the far left lane and struck the passenger’s side of a Volkswagen. Police said she then lost control and entered a work area between temporary jersey walls on the inner loop of I-695, striking multiple construction workers before overturning.

Lea, 54, was the sole occupant of the vehicle. She was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center where she is receiving treatment for injuries from the crash.

The 20-year-old driver of the Volkswagen was not injured during the incident. He stopped just north of the scene after his car became disabled.

State troopers responded to the scene on the inner loop near the Security Boulevard exit around 12:40 p.m. The six highway workers were pronounced dead at the scene by the Baltimore County Fire Department, police said. Their identities were not released Wednesday night.

The Maryland State Police Crash Team and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the fatal collision. Once the investigation concludes, state police will consult with the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office to determine if charges will be filed, authorities said.

The inner and outer loop of the beltway were fully or partially closed in the area of the crash for much of the afternoon, causing severe backups. Crews retimed traffic lights on Liberty Road, South Rolling Road and Security Boulevard to help move vehicles through the area, the Maryland State Highway Administration said.

As of 6:52 p.m., all lanes of the beltway were reopened between Security Boulevard and Windsor Mill Road, police said.

On Twitter, Gov. Wes Moore said his “heart goes out” to the victims of the crash and their families.

Moore said his office will provide more information when it becomes available.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. also offered “sincere condolences to the families, friends, and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in today’s tragic crash and my prayers remain with those injured in this horrific incident.”

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This article was updated to correct the spelling of Lisa Adrienne Lea’s middle name.