Racheal Keaton killed in crash on top of Solomon’s Bridge; George Steffey injured in snowy nightmare

 

Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge.tif

This view of the Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge at Solomon’s Island as it carries traffic across the Patuxent River shows a crash scene in broad daylight in nice weather. A nightmare scene ensued during snowstorm on Feb. 16, 2015 when a Lexington Park woman lost control on the snow-covered bridge and went into oncoming traffic. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo by Matthew Ivancie

UPDATE: The 2004 Jeep Wrangler was operated Kenneth George Steffey, a 47 year old male of Lusby, who sustained minor injuries.  Steffey was transported to MedStar St Mary’s Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and released.

The 2004 Toyota Highlander was operated Davar Mitchel Faulk, a 35 year old male of Lexington Park, who sustained no injuries.  Faulk was able to drive away from the scene.

The 1997 Toyota Camry was operated by Racheal Mary Keaton, a 50 year old female of Lexington Park.  Keaton sustained multiple injuries and was transported to MedStar St Mary’s Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.  Keaton was pronounced deceased by the Hospital Emergency Room Staff.

Driver error on the part of Rachel Keaton and the snow covered bridge are major contributing factors to this collision.

DFC R. Wilson of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Crash Reconstruction Team is conducting the investigation into the events leading up to the collision.  Anyone with additional information regarding the incident are asked to contact DFC R. Wilson of CRT at 410-535-2800 or via e-mail at wilsonrs@co.cal.md.us

SOLOMONS, MD. — An early evening crash on the Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge at Solomon’s Island, Md. took one life and left another driver in a hospital.  Calvert Sheriff’s Patrol Commander Capt. Todd Ireland reports that the crash took place on Feb. 16, 2015 at about 6:33 pm on the top of the high bridge over the Patuxent River.

Capt. Ireland reports that the Calvert Control Center received a 911 call reporting a serious crash on the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge. Calvert County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the top of the bridge and observed a Jeep and a Toyota Camry that had been involved in a T-bone type crash.

Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge at Solomon's Island, Maryland THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge at Solomon’s Island, Maryland THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Deputies immediately summoned the assistance of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Crash Reconstruction Unit. Preliminary investigation indicates the Toyota Camry had been travelling southbound on the bridge when the driver lost control of the vehicle.

Police say the Toyota went into a sideways slide and crossed the center line into the northbound lane of travel.  The Jeep was travelling north and subsequently struck the Toyota in the passenger’s side causing severe intrusion into the passenger’s compartment of the vehicle.  There were no passengers in either vehicle.

Both operators were transported to St. Mary’s MedStar. The operator of the Toyota Camry was pronounced deceased and the operator of the Jeep was listed in stable condition.

Calvert County Maryland Sheriff's Deputies gather round Cove Point Lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay. Calvert County has about thirty miles of coast line on the Chesapeake.

Calvert County Maryland Sheriff’s Deputies gather round Cove Point Lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay. Calvert County has about thirty miles of coast line on the Chesapeake.

A third vehicle had minor contact with the rear of the Jeep in a secondary crash after the initial series of events took place.

The State Highway Administration, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police worked together to clear this incident and to get the bridge reopened. Solomon’s Volunteer Fire Dept. and Rescue Squad, the St. Leonard Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, the Lexington Park Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad as well as Calvert Advanced Life Support also assisted with the scene on the bridge.

Police agencies all over the region have  responded to numerous vehicles off of the roadway and traffic crash calls for service.  Snow emergency plans are in effect.

snow plow SHA 120505Police encourage the public to stay off of the roads if at all possible.

Capt. Ireland reports that the next of kin have not yet been notified.

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