Investigators near the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania are continuing an investigation into a fatal car accident on Oct. 19 that killed five victims. The crash, which occurred in the afternoon that Saturday, led to the deaths of four motorcycle riders and one passenger in an SUV. The crash was so severe that the road was closed for five hours for clean-up and accident reconstruction. Glass and metal debris were seen alongside the road by passing motorists. Scores of emergency medical responders arrived on the scene to assist, even though just one man lived through the collision.
Authorities report that the sport utility vehicle was driving north on Fort Ritchie Access Road in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania, when it crossed the center line. That larger vehicle smashed head-on into a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, killing the 32-year-old driver and his 27-year-old passenger. The SUV then spun so its broad side was facing oncoming traffic. An oncoming Suzuki motorcycle struck that vehicle in the passenger door, killing a 67-year-old man and his 53-year-old wife.
The only survivor of the crash appears to be a 67-year-old man who was behind the wheel of the SUV, as his passenger, his 68-year-old wife, was also killed in the wreck. The driver was transported to the local Meritus Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
So far, investigators say that speed does not appear to be a factor in the collision, as all vehicles were driving slower than the 55 mph speed limit. A thorough investigation is being conducted in the matter, with all vehicles involved undergoing inspection. Autopsies are also pending in the case, according to local authorities.
The at-fault driver has not been definitively identified in this case. However, if the driver of the SUV is determined to be responsible for the accident, he could face civil liability for negligent driving. Victims whose relatives have died in accidents caused by other drivers may be able to recoup damages from at-fault operators, who can face additional punishment outside of the criminal court system.
www.heraldmailmedia.com, “Police identify victims of Blue Ridge Summit SUV-motorcycle crash” Jennifer Fitch, Oct. 20, 2013