The Maryland Transportation Authority Police on Monday identified Robert Taylor Horne as the man who stopped to check on a disabled vehicle on Interstate 395 in Baltimore, and then was struck by a car and fell to his death from the elevated highway..
Horne, 50, of Smithsburg in northeastern Washington County, was driving a 2007 Ford when he exited his vehicle on Sunday night to try to help any occupants of a 1994 Chevrolet on I-395 just south of downtown.
The Chevrolet was parked partially on the narrow left shoulder and partially in the left lane of the highway, MDTA police said in a statement Monday afternoon.
The preliminary investigation found that two vehicles — a 2017 Nissan Versa and a 2015 Mercedes — collided as they approached the disabled Chevrolet. One of those vehicles struck Horne, the statement said, and the collision “inadvertently” caused him to fall over a barricade and into the water below.
Fire department members arrived on the scene around 9:45 p.m. in response to a report of a multi-car collision, said Kevin Cartwright, a spokesman for the Baltimore City Fire Department.
Medic units — which are only dispatched for 911 calls — were also on the scene before Horne pulled over to help.
Cartwright said its Special Operations Command, which includes a dive rescue team, arrived at Sharp and Wall streets, where it could access the water with rescue boats.
After a 15-minute search, dive team members located Horne. He was pronounced dead on the scene. The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine his cause of death.
The crash occurred near the approach to southbound Interstate 95.
Earl Brown, a former coworker of Horne’s, called the victim a “gentle giant” and said he was not surprised that Horne had pulled over to help others
“That’s normally Horne to always stop and pulling over, I don’t care where he at,” Brown told WJZ. “He always try to help somebody.”
Brown said he met Horne about a decade ago, when they both were working security at the Baltimore Convention Center. He described him as bright, intelligent, friendly and unselfish.
“It’s very sad and hurtful to hear this man passed away,” Brown told the news station.
WJZ, a media partner of The Baltimore Banner, contributed to this report.
This story has been updated to clarify that Mr. Horne stopped to try and help any people in a disabled car parked on the shoulder of I-395.