Sunday, November 16, 2008

Three people were injured, one critically, and traffic on the Baltimore Washington Parkway was backed up for miles in both directions Saturday after a three-car collision, police said.

The driver of a sport utility vehicle was airlifted to a hospital by the U.S. Park Police’s Eagle One medevac helicopter with life-threatening injuries, but his condition stabilized by late afternoon, police said.

Police did not release the identities of the victims.

At about 12:30 p.m., just south of the Powder Mill Road exit, the SUV and a sedan collided while traveling northbound on the parkway, according to Sgt. Robert Lachance, a Park Police spokesman.

The SUV then veered across the grass median and flipped over, striking a Ford sedan in the southbound lanes and coming to rest on its hood in the right lane. The Ford went off the road and down the embankment until it struck the tree line, Sgt. Lachance said.

The two occupants of the Ford were driven by ambulance to a local hospital in serious but stable condition.

Traffic was stopped in both directions on the parkway for about 3 1/2 hours. The backup in the northbound lanes appeared to be more than five miles, from Powder Mill Road to inside the Washington Beltway. Northbound traffic was diverted onto Route 193.

Many drivers made U-turns across the grass median to escape the backup. Some southbound drivers below Powder Mill Road were seen crossing to the northbound lanes and taking the Goddard Space Flight Center until they, too, reached Route 193.

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