WOODLAWN, Md. — Six construction workers were killed on Wednesday after they were struck by a vehicle that entered a work zone on the Baltimore Beltway, authorities said.
According to a news release from the Maryland State Police, at about 12:40 p.m. EDT, a gray Acura traveled into a work zone on the inner loop of Interstate 695 in Woodlawn, west of Baltimore. The vehicle moved between temporary jersey walls and struck multiple workers before overturning, troopers said.
The driver of the Acura was taken to an area hospital for treatment, The Baltimore Sun reported. The motorist’s condition was unknown, police told the newspaper.
The six construction workers were pronounced dead at the scene, troopers said. Their identities are being withheld pending next-of-kin notification.
#UPDATE @mdsp has confirmed at least 6 fatalities as a result of this crash. Additional updates to follow.— MD State Police (@MDSP) March 22, 2023
It is unclear what led the motorist to drive into the work zone, WBAL-TV reported.
“The preliminary investigation, at this point, indicates that, for reasons unknown, an Acura traveled in between the jersey walls and struck the contract workers that were on that scene,” Maryland State Police spokesperson Elena Russo told the television station. “All six contract workers were declared deceased at the scene by EMS personnel.”
“I am praying for the family,” Bridget Brown, whose son was on the highway during the wreck, told WJZ-TV. “My son was only a few cars back. It could have been my son. I just thank God it is not him.”
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski tweeted his condolences.
“On behalf of all the residents of Baltimore County, we offer our sincere condolences to the families, friends, and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in today’s tragic crash and my prayers remain with those injured in this horrific incident,” Olszewski wrote.
On behalf of all the residents of Baltimore County, we offer our sincere condolences to the families, friends, and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in today's tragic crash and my prayers remain with those injured in this horrific incident. https://t.co/9iK5BG68je— County Executive Johnny Olszewski (@BaltCoExec) March 22, 2023
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore also offered his condolences.
“My heart goes out to the victims and the families affected by the tragic crash on the 695 beltway this afternoon. My office is in touch with local authorities and will continue to monitor the situation,” Moore said in a statement, according to WBAL. “We will provide more information as it becomes available.”
Police said the crash caused traffic to back up for approximately a mile, and the Beltway’s outer loop had a 3-mile backup, transportation officials told The Sun.
Two lanes of the Beltway’s inner loop reopened by 4 p.m. EDT and all lanes of the outer loop reopened 30 minutes later, according to the newspaper.
The crash remains under investigation, troopers said.