Friday, May 19, 2017

Robert Skidmore, 66, of Cape St. Clair, died when his SUV was hit head-on by Laura Ashley Murphy, 22, driving the wrong way on US 50; she died at the scene.

Annapolis-Area Traffic Deaths: 2nd Driver Dies In Wrong-Way Crash That Killed Mother
A Cape St. Clair man died Wednesday when his SUV was hit head-on by a Salisbury woman driving the wrong way on US 50; she died at the scene.

By Deb Belt (Patch Staff) - May 18, 2017 10:04 pm ET

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Investigators say they are exploring whether a woman who drove the wrong way on US 50 near Annapolis crashed head-on into an SUV, killing both drivers, may have been confused by a frontage road, distracted or impaired. Maryland State Police identified Laura Ashley Murphy, 22, of Salisbury, as the driver who caused Wednesday's crash.

Murphy was driving a 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan; her 14-month-old son was a passenger in the vehicle. He was flown by State Police medevac helicopter to Johns Hopkins Medical Center, where he is in critical condition.

Robert Skidmore, 66, of Cape St. Clair, was driving the 2016 Mercedes SUV that Murphy slammed into as she was driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of Route 50 in Annapolis. EMS personnel extricated Skidmore from the vehicle, and he was also flown by helicopter to R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. Authorities said Monday night that Skidmore was pronounced dead by hospital personnel at Shock Trauma.

State Police are listening to cell phone calls they received from drivers on the highway reporting Murphy's chaotic drive before the crash. And authorities ask anyone who saw Murphy pull onto the highway the wrong way to contact State Police at (410) 267-5800.

"I'm traveling eastbound on Route 50 toward the Bay Bridge, and there was just a car coming head-on down all three lanes eastbound. It was going westbound in our lanes of traffic, and it was totally out of control," one 911 caller said, reports WBAL.

State Police say the third vehicle involved in the crash was driven by Anthony Stanley, 59, of Bowie. Stanley was driving a 2016 Nissan 350-Z, which sustained minor damage. He was not hurt in the crash.

Shortly before 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, troopers from the Annapolis barrack responded to multiple calls reporting Murphy's vehicle was traveling in the wrong direction on Route 50 at Route 2, in Annapolis. As troopers raced to the scene, additional calls were received reporting the crash.

Early information indicates that Murphy was driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of Route 50, about one-quarter mile east of the Severn River Bridge when the crash occurred. So far, investigators don't know where Murphy initially entered Route 50.

Murphy’s vehicle crashed head-on with the Mercedes SUV, which came to rest on the side of the highway in a wooded area. About 4 p.m., the driver was extricated from the vehicle and taken to the trauma center.

The Maryland State Police Crash Team will conduct a detailed crash reconstruction.

Reports say drivers began calling 911 about a mile before the crash to warn police the woman was headed the wrong way on the highway. There is no word yet on what might have caused Murphy to enter the highway from the wrong direction.

»Screenshots from SHA traffic cameras