NBCWashington.com/Abingdon Fire Company
Handout image of the scene, provided to NBCWashington.com by the Abingdon Fire Company
Two people were killed and three others were hospitalized after an accident on Interstate 95 in Harford County, Maryland, early Saturday morning.
Investigators say that the accident took place at around 2:00 a.m. on the northbound side of Interstate 95 at Maryland Route 24, near Abingdon.
Investigators believe one of the victims may have been involved in a road rage incident just prior to the accident, and are looking for the occupants of a dark-colored Jeep.
Maryland State Police say that 31-year-old Veney Tanner, Jr., of Abingdon, and 17-year-old Janelle Jackson of Baltimore were killed when the 2005 Lexus driven by Tanner was struck by a box truck while entering the fast lane of traffic. Authorities say the Lexus caught fire after traveling off the left side of the roadway.
Maryland State Police Corporal Kevin Watkins is credited with extracting Tanner, Jackson, and a third passenger -- 38-year-old Myron Doram of Randallstown, Md. -- from the burning car. Watkins was treated and released from Upper Chesapeake Hospital for smoke inhalation.
Tanner was pronounced dead at Chesapeake Hospital, while Jackson was airlifted to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where she was also pronounced dead.
Doram and the driver of the box truck, 63-year-old Clinton Griffin of Newark, Del., were taken to Bayview Hospital. There is no word on their condition.
Investigators believe Tanner may have been involved in a road rage incident involving the Jeep shortly before the accident. Authorities say that both vehicles were pulled over on the shoulder past the exit for Maryland Route 24 and at one point, people were seen getting out of the Jeep and walking toward the Lexus. According to investigators, at least one person was seen banging on the windows of the Lexus.
Police say that Tanner suddenly pulled out from the shoulder and back on to the highway just before the Lexus was struck by the box truck. The exact cause and nature of both the dispute and the crash is under investigation.