As a Baltimore automobile and trucking accident lawyer, I understand how easily a car crash can happen. Whether one is traveling on a city street in Annapolis, Washington, D.C., or Rockville, or if you are on the Beltway, even the simplest of mistakes or driving errors can result in a serious injury accident. As a motorist myself, I know that obeying our traffic laws is one way to help avoid the effects of a tragic car wreck.
Unfortunately, there are drivers among us who for one reason or another choose to tempt fate and drive in a less than safe manner. Exceeding the posted speed limit, weaving in and out of traffic, or driving without regard to the safety of other motorists can lead to a bad traffic wreck involving one or many vehicles. An aside here, some motorists are at higher risk when they become caught up in a traffic accident, namely motorcycle riders, due to less protection against bodily injury.
In any event, aggressive driving of almost any kind can not only precipitate a serious collision, but can also exacerbate the effects of a crash. From compound fractures of the arms and legs, to internal bleeding and closed-head injuries, a high-speed accident can surely result in serious medical complications, and sometimes even death. Some argue that surviving a motor vehicle accident may be worse, especially in cases where spinal cord damage occurs, leaving the victim paralyzed sometimes for life.
A news article pointed out the extreme downside of aggressive driving. Sadly for one Dundalk resident, her haste one evening on the Beltway apparently resulted in her own death. The only fortunate thing that can be said is nobody else was seriously injured as a result of that woman’s actions.
According to news reports, 40-year-old Mellany Dudney was seen by witnesses driving her vehicle in what police described as an erratic manner just prior to the fatal crash. Based on reports, Dudney was reportedly observed executing erratic lane change maneuvers along a stretch of the outer loop on Interstate 695. Police reports indicate that the woman’s Nissan hit a concrete barrier on the left side of the expressway just as she was approaching Frederick Rd.
As a result of the impact, a section of the metal screen designed to reduce headlamp glare from oncoming vehicles became detached from the top of the barrier and pierced the vehicle before striking the woman in the neck. Following the initial crash, Dudney’s vehicle apparently bounced back into traffic and sped across all traffic lanes, coming to a stop off to the side of the roadway.
Police said that there was no sign of alcohol or other substance that may have contributed to the crash, which occurred just before 7pm. Dudney was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders arriving at the crash site.
Police stated that witnesses to the accident noticed the victim’s vehicle operating in a reckless manner just before the collision. According to Maryland State Police, Dudney had made numerous lane changes prior to the crash. No mention was made as to whether the accident was a result of driver error or is some kind of equipment failure caused the small sedan to hit the barrier. There have been cases where defective vehicle equipment, such as brakes or steering components, were found to have caused a fatal wreck.
Dundalk Woman, 40, Killed Monday in Beltway Accident, Patch.com, April 5, 2011