There were 23 fatalities on Harford County highways in 2011, a slight decrease from the previous year, but still too many, according to local police.
They're hoping a new countywide task force will prevent at least some fatal accidents.
"None of us want to experience the loss of a loved one or cause the loss of a loved one because of one careless moment in a motor vehicle that could have been avoided," Lt. Charles Moore, commander of the Maryland State Police Bel Air Barrack, said Monday.
Among the 23 who were killed last year, six were riding motorcycles and a seventh was driving a four-wheeler. That's half the number killed on motorcycles compared to 2010.
Four of the 2011 deaths were pedestrians, including a man who got out of his car on I-95 and was struck and killed crossing traffic lanes. A teenage girl was killed crossing a northern Harford highway that is not typically busy during the time she was struck.
The third pedestrian who was killed was walking along Rockspring Road in Bel Air early in the morning, and police who investigated say he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.
Police also said during initial investigations that alcohol may have also been a factor in one of last year's fatal collisions, making it one motorist and one pedestrian killed last year in accidents possibly caused by alcohol.
With five deaths, July was by far the deadliest month, followed by April with four. June was the only month no one died in a car accident.
Geographically, 10 of the fatalities were on roads in northern Harford County, with three deaths along Route 136, two along Route 1 (Conowingo Road), two along Route 165 and one each along Route 23, Grier Nursery Road and Jarrettsville Road.
Among fatalities in the southern half of the county, there were one each on the Bel Air Bypass, Route 40, Route 7, Route 1 (Belair Road), Route 24, Route 22 between Bel Air and Churchville and I-95. There were two deaths on Rockspring Road, one north of the bypass and one south.
There were no accidents in which there were multiple deaths in 2011.
Local law enforcement is trying to combat the numerous accidents in Harford County through the new Traffic Task Force. Created in April, it incorporates Maryland State Police, the Harford County Sheriff's Office and Aberdeen, Bel Air and Havre de Grace police departments.
The goal of the program, according to Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane, is to get all local law enforcement to "pool resources" and focus on the areas with traffic problems.
Some of these traffic problems are caused by distracted drivers and angry drivers, he said, as well as a lack of infrastructure to support the increasing traffic flow.
"I think one of the difficulties is that our infrastructure doesn't support the volume of traffic we have on our roadways, particularly during rush hour," he said.
In addition to the task force, Bane said the sheriff's office is also getting a software program for DDACS, or Data Driven Analysis of Crime and traffic Safety, which will help analyze traffic problems and patterns.
DDACS will allow the sheriff's office to find areas with both traffic and crime problems, so they can focus on those neighborhoods.
"That way you're not just dealing with the traffic," he said, "you're dealing with the crime, too."
Maryland State Police will also be taking steps to prevent more accidents in 2012 in addition to participating in the traffic force. Moore said he hopes to put a spreadsheet he created in use in the coming weeks to help the Bel Air Barrack further analyze traffic.
Now, Maryland State Police uses data from State Highway Administration to follow traffic patterns and problems, but Moore has developed a spreadsheet to keep track of where the accidents are happening, at what times and what the causes are.
In doing so, he hopes to be able to target the "high crash" areas with heightened law enforcement. By reducing all accidents and promoting driver safety, according to Moore, local law enforcement will also be reducing the number of fatal accidents.
A brief summary of each 2011 fatal accident follows:
1- Dennis Eugene Arnold, 41, of Halethorpe, was driving a 1998 Chevrolet Corvette on Route 165 Jan. 13 when he tried to pass another vehicle in a legal pass zone and lost control of the car. Arnold was pronounced dead at the scene.
2- Joseph Anthony Moor, 31, of Havre de Grace, died after his pickup truck hit the side of an 18-wheel tractor trailer Jan. 19 in Aberdeen.
3- Ashley Stewart, 18, of Jarrettsville, died after a crash on Grier Nursery Road Feb. 14. She was a passenger in the car her boyfriend was driving.
4- Levon Michael Brown, 27, of Rosedale, was hit by two cars as he ran across I-95 Feb. 19 and was pronounced dead at the scene.
5 - Clinton Brown, 89, of White Hall, died after an accident in early March at Old Federal Hill Road and Route 165. Mr. Brown died several days after the crash.
6 - Michael Leroy Jackson, 65, of Street, was driving a 1990 Ford Ranger pickup truck north on the Bel Air Bypass April 2, when the pickup crossed into the lanes for southbound traffic and ran into a tree near the ramp leading from southbound Route 24 onto the southbound bypass. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
7 - Adam Glenn Thompson, 19, of Street, was driving a 1999 Acura 2.3 CL north on Route 1 (Conowingo Road) around 1:09 a.m. April 12, according to Maryland State Police. South of Sandy Hook Road, Thompson lost control of the car and hit a telephone pole. Thompson was pronounced dead at the scene.
8 - David Allen Butler, 38, of Forest Hill, was driving a 2005 Suzuki GSXR 1000 motorcycle east on West Jarrettsville Road in Jarrettsville around 7:36 p.m. April 26 at a high rate of speed near the intersection with Old Federal Hill Road when he lost control in a turn, according to the sheriff's office. The motorcycle drove off the northern edge of the westbound lane of West Jarrettsville Road, continued up an embankment and hit a utility pole. Butler was pronounced dead at the scene. He was wearing a helmet, but police said he did not have a valid driver's license at the time of the accident.
9 - Erika Christian Boin, 38, of the 8000 block of Bradshaw Road in Upper Falls, was driving a 2010 Nissan west on Route 40 around 5:16 p.m. Sunday, May 8, according to Maryland State Police. At the same time, Hauson Tiaree Woodard, 26, of the 100 block of Great Oaks Drive in Aberdeen, was driving east on Route 40 on a 2004 Suzuki motorcycle. Boin tried to make a left turn and the Nissan and motorcycle collided, according to state police. Woodard was ejected from the motorcycle. He was taken by Medevac helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he later died.
10 - Tyler Lee Hickman, 16, of the 1900 block of Bennett Road in Perryman, was riding a four-wheeler around 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, in the 2400 block of Old Robin Hood Road when he hit a tree, according to the Harford County Sheriff's Office. Tyler was ejected from the four-wheeler. He was taken to Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace, where he died.
11 - Edward John Rogers III, 54, of Joppa, was driving a 2001 Harley Davidson motorcycle north on Rockspring Road in Forest Hill around 12:26 p.m. July 9. At the same time, Young IIui Park of Baltimore was driving a 2008 Honda Accord south on Rockspring Road. When Park tried to make a left turn onto Myers Drive, he did not yield right of way and the motorcycle hit the back of the Honda, according to state police. Rogers was ejected from the motorcycle and landed on Rockspring Road in the lane for southbound traffic, where he was hit by a 1994 Mazda pickup truck driven by William Clyde Hensley 3rd, of Whiteford, according to state police. Mr. Rogers was flown by Medevac helicopter to shock trauma. Mr. Rogers died July 11, according to state police.
12 - James Robert Rogers III, 22, of Darlington, was driving a 2008 Volkswagen Passat south on Route 136 near Trappe Road near Darlington around 1:25 a.m. July 13, when the car crossed the center line, according to Maryland State Police. The car drove across the lane for northbound traffic, hit a guardrail, continued up an embankment into a tree and finally stopped in the lane for southbound traffic, according to state police. Rogers received medical assistance minutes after the crash and was taken to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, where he died.
13 - Carolyn Dicocco, 64, of Bel Air, died in a crash around 10:15 a.m. July 21 in front of Fountain Green Swim Club. Nicole Ashley Albers, 27, of Bel Air, was driving a 2002 Chrysler 300M north on Route 543, according to Maryland State Police. While she was driving her Chrysler near Foxborough Drive and the swim club, her vehicle and a 2010 Lexus driven by Albert Dicocco, 65, of Bel Air, collided head on, according to state police. Dicocco's passenger, Carolyn Dicocco, was pronounced dead at the scene.
14 - Bisbee Paduk Allen, 21, of Churchville, was driving a 1995 Honda Accord north on Route 136 (Priestford Road) north of Route 22 around 12:37 a.m. July 26, according to Maryland State Police. The Honda crossed the double yellow center lines, skidded into the lanes for southbound traffic and was hit by a 2005 Freightliner tractor trailer, according to state police. The driver of the Freightliner, Robert Myers, 60, of Harrisburg, Pa., tried to avoid the Honda and drove off the road, colliding with a BGE pole, which broke off because of the impact. The Honda continued off the road and hit another BGE pole. Mr. Allen, the driver of the Honda and the only person in the vehicle, was trapped inside and EMS personnel pronounced him dead at the scene.
15 - Heather Greer, a 14-year-old Pylesville girl, died July 28 after she was hit by a car while crossing Route 136 in northern Harford County, Maryland State Police said. Heather was struck in the 2200 block of Harkins Road (Route 136) shortly before 4 p.m. She was flown by Medevac to shock trauma, where she later died. State police said Heather Greer "attempted to cross the road," when she was struck by a 2009 Toyota Highlander driven by James Landerkin, 34, of Pylesville, who was driving south on Route 136, just prior to the diagonal intersection with Amos Mill and West Heaps roads.
16 - Kurt Mahlon Chenowith, 25, of Fork, was driving a 2009 Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle south on Route 1 near Bel Air Aug. 9, where he was sent careening off his motorcycle, Maryland State Police said. Around 11:15 a.m., William Ross Kelly, 73, of Bel Air, was trying to make a left turn from Bob Bell Chevrolet into the lane for northbound traffic on Route 1 (Belair Road) south of Old Joppa Road. As Kelly drove his 1990 Oldsmobile Regency into the flow of traffic, Mr. Chenowith hit the driver's side of the Oldsmobile and was ejected from the motorcycle, according to state police. Mr. Chenowith was taken to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, where he was pronounced, according to state police.
17 - Mildred Waltersdorff, 84, of Abingdon, was driving a 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser west on Singer Road on Aug. 14; she was sitting stationary at the traffic signal for Route 24 and Singer Road, Maryland State Police reported. For unknown reasons, Ms. Waltersdorff accelerated from her stationary position and continued through the intersection when she was struck on the driver's side by a 2005 Kia Sorrento, driven by Christopher Damko, of Port Deposit. Mrs. Waltersdorff was pronounced dead by medical personnel at the scene.
18 - Edward Lee Chatham, 76, of the 2200 block of School Road in Darlington, died Sept. 21 from injuries sustained in a car accident Sept. 6, a state medical examiner ruled. Maryland State Police troopers who investigated the accident initially believed Mr. Chatham, who was a passenger in the vehicles involved, did not have life-threatening injuries. A medical examiner notified state police that his death was caused by injuries sustained in the crash, state police said. Around 12:24 p.m. Sept. 6, Lavina Chatham, 74, who has the same address as Mr. Chatham, tried to make a left from Route 1 (Conowingo Road) onto White House Road north of Bel Air. As Chatham's 2005 Toyota Camry was poised to turn, a 2003 Toyota Highlander driven by 26-year-old Patrick S. Hanley Jr. of Bel Air hit the Camry from behind, according to state police.
19 - Louis Goodman, 47, of the 2000 block of Bynum Overlook Drive in Abingdon, was killed around 8:28 p.m. Oct. 8 two miles from his home – at Creswell Road and Route 7 near Riverside – after the 2007 Harley Davidson he was riding collided with a 2008 Chrysler Sebring driven by Angela Gonzalez, 29, of the 3000 block of Cotter Road in Manchester, state police said. Preliminary investigation showed the Chrysler was traveling south on Creswell Road when the motorcycle was making a left turn from the opposite lane of Creswell Road onto Route 7, state police said. Mr. Goodman was taken to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, where he was pronounced dead.
20 -Joshua John Hanna, 21, of Street, was driving a Hyundai Elantra east in the 3100 block of Churchville Road (Route 22) about 3:50 p.m. Nov. 5, according to Maryland State Police, as Jordan Craig Stewart, 26, was driving a Dodge Ram pickup west. State police said Stewart failed to keep right of the center line, crossed into the other lane and hit the Elantra head-on, according to the preliminary investigation. Stewart was taken to Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore with non-life threatening injuries, according to state police. Mr. Hanna was flown by Maryland State Police Medevac to shock trauma, where he was pronounced dead by medical personnel, according to state police.
21 - Adam Charles Wyatt, 29, of the 500 block of Chrome Road in Rising Sun in Cecil County, died from major injuries after he was thrown off the motorcycle and then hit by another vehicle Nov. 27, according to the Harford County Sheriff's Office. The accident occurred at about 10:55 a.m. on Carrs Mill Road near Wildwood Drive. According to the preliminary investigation by the sheriff's office's Traffic Unit, Wyatt was riding a 2005 Kawasaki motorcycle north on Carrs Mill Road when he lost control of the bike after going down a hill and around a curve. Wyatt was thrown off the motorcycle and landed in the southbound lane, where he was struck by a 2004 Honda Civic driven by Dennis Theodore Keeney III, 20, of the 6600 block of Blackhead Road in Middle River. Paramedics from Fallston Volunteer Fire Company determined Wyatt had suffered "multi-system trauma" and he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the sheriff's office. Wyatt was wearing a helmet.
22- Donald Vangosen, 41, of Fawn Grove, Pa, died at the scene from injuries suffered in the crash around 5 a.m. Dec. 4 on Route 23 (Norrisville Road) just south of Harford Creamery Road near Norrisville, according to state police, who said "consumption of alcoholic beverages is believed to have been a contributing factor." The preliminary investigation by troopers concluded Mr. Vangosen was traveling south on Norrisville Road in a 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier. At the same time, a 2007 Nissan Xterra being operated by Charles Creaney, 22, of Bel Air, was northbound on Norrisville Road. Troopers determined the Nissan Xterra crossed the center line of the roadway for unknown reasons, striking the Chevrolet Cavalier head-on, according to state police. Mr. Vangosen was the sole occupant of the Chevrolet Cavalier.
23 - Michael Francis Gist, 23, of Jarrettsville, was killed walking along Roue 924 near James Avenue around 5:23 a.m. Dec. 9. A 2003 Kia Sonoma, driven by Tina Louise Holland, 37, of Forest Hill, was traveling south on Route 924 when the accident occurred, according to state police. State police said they believe Mr. Gist, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was walking in the travel portion of Route 924 when he was struck and "It is possible that Mr. Gist was under the influence of alcoholic beverages at the time of the crash."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times