Maryland Officials Identify Victims from 68-Car Pileup

Maryland officials have identified two of three people who died in a 68-vehicle pileup on Interstate 95 that left roughly two dozen others injured.

Maryland Transportation Authority officials said at a news conference Monday that Alfredo Santos Orellana, 38, of Mount Rainer, Virginia, and Mehmed Hodzic, 54, of Edgewood, Maryland, died in Saturday's wreck.

Officials said Orellana's exact cause of death is being investigated, and Hodzic died after leaving his vehicle and falling over a barrier while trying to avoid oncoming traffic.

At the time of the pileup, a tanker truck carrying gasoline slid off the highway and exploded. Authorities say the driver of the truck, 31-year-old Clinton Lamont Worrell Jr, also died. Tthe crash is being investigated separately.

Orellana was a victim in the 68th car involved in the crash on northbound I-95 between Caton Avenue and Washington Boulevard. The number of vehicles involved in the crash increased from what was reported Saturday, and Maryland Transportation Authority police spokesman Lt. Kevin Ayd said it's possible that number could increase as the investigation unfolds.

"The cause of his death and the entire crash is still under investigation," Ayd said. "The tanker crash, which now we're reporting is a separate incident. It was a single-vehicle tanker crash."

Officials are investigating the cause of the wreck, though it occurred during particularly icy conditions.

Police have not identified the driver of the tanker crash, pending positive identification from the state medical examiner's office. Police said the driver worked for Carroll Fuel.

Carroll Fuel President John H. Phelps released a statement Monday afternoon.

"One of our company's trucks was involved in a multi-vehicle accident on I-95 the morning of Dec. 17 in south Baltimore.

"Tragically, one of our employees passed away as a result of that accident. While his identity has not been made public by the medical examiner's office, we have met with his family and will continue to support them in any way we can.

"We are a family-owned company in business for more than a century. Our employees are like part of our family, so this is an extremely difficult time for all of us. This is the first employee in our 100+ year history that has passed away as a result of an accident on the job.

"Our deepest sympathies go out to all of those involved in or impacted by this tragic accident.

"We have and will continue to assist authorities with the ongoing, multifaceted investigation of this accident and have been advised not to comment further until the investigation has been completed."

Hodzic was killed when he got out of a car he was driving after a multi-vehicle crash on northbound I-95 at Eastern Avenue around 4:45 a.m. 

"Mr. Hodzic exited his vehicle for unknown reasons and trying to avoid being struck by another vehicle coming toward him, he fell over the jersey barrier to railroad tracks below," Ayd said.

CSX workers on Monday worked to repair the train tracks where the tanker truck landed after plunging off the interstate.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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