Motorcyclist in critical condition in crash caused by horse-drawn buggy

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CHARLOTTE HALL September 5, 2013 — The operator of a horse-drawn buggy failed to yield to two motorcyclists operating on Maryland Rt. 6 in St. Mary’s County and sent both operators of the motorcycles flying across the highway. Both men were injured with one man’s life in peril, according to St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Deputy Theodore Belleavoine.
Police say that on September 5, 2013 at approximately 6:43 pm, members of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division responded to the area of Route 6 and Culver Lane in Charlotte Hall for the reported motor vehicle collision.
Upon arriving on the scene Deputies found two crashed motorcycles one in the roadway and one in the eastbound ditch line with a horse down in the roadway.
The operator of one of the motorcycles was found to be unconscious lying in the eastbound ditch. The request for reconstruction was made and Sheriff’s Office Collision Reconstruction Team Members responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

Preliminary investigation revealed that Donald Lee Fridell Jr., 52 and Lawrence Francis Jones, 81, both of Lothian, Maryland were operating their Harley Davidson Motorcycles two abreast westbound on Route 6 approaching Culver Lane when an Amish Horse and Buggy operated by Luna Hertzler Fisher, 48, of Mechanicsville which was traveling westbound on the westbound shoulder of the road attempted to make a left hand turn across the westbound and eastbound lanes onto Culver Lane.
The Amish Buggy failed to yield and pulled directly into the path of the motorcycles. Mr. Fridell was unable to take any evasive action, struck the horse, his motorcycle went down and he was fully ejected.
Mr. Fridell and his motorcycle came to rest in the eastbound ditch line. Mr. Jones locked the rear brake on his motorcycle and swerved at which time he lost control of his motorcycle sending it to the ground and ejecting him.
Mr. Jones sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported by ambulance to Civista Medical Center.
Mr. Fridell sustained life threatening injuries and was flown from the scene to John Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore by Maryland State Police Helicopter Trooper 2.
Police did not remark on the condition of either Fisher or the horse.
At this time there are no indications that speed, alcohol or drugs were contributing factors in the crash.
Anyone who may have observed the crash and has not already provided their information to police is asked to contact Corporal Brian Connelly # 151 of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at (301)475-4200 Ext. 9010. This crash remains under investigation.

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