Collision sends car into work zone on Maryland freeway, killing 6 construction workers

BALTIMORE -- Six construction workers were killed and a driver was hospitalized early Wednesday afternoon in a collision on the west side of Interstate 695 that closed the Baltimore beltway both ways for hours and snarled traffic, according to Maryland State Police.

Two cars collided in Woodlawn at about 12:40 p.m. Wednesday in the highway’s left lane, causing one to flip into a construction zone and strike workers, police said Wednesday night.

The vehicle that flipped, a gray Acura operated by Lisa Adrienna Lea, 54, of Randallstown, crossed temporary barriers and struck workers after hitting the front of a white Volkswagen operated by Melachi Brown, 20, of Windsor Mill, police said. Lea was attempting to change lanes when her vehicle struck Brown’s car.

Lea was taken to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore and is receiving treatment for her injuries. Brown was not injured and stopped farther up the roadway.

The identities of the six construction workers who died won’t be released until next of kin are notified, police said. Police said any charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board responded and are looking into the matter in coordination with state police.

The collision led police to close both directions of the Baltimore Beltway in the area for several hours, causing significant traffic backups.


The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration declined to comment on what construction work was being done Wednesday.

The state has begun work in the area on what it calls the Triple Bridges Project to address traffic congestion where the beltway, or I-695, meets I-70. Built in the 1960s, the interchange handles far more traffic than it was designed for, according to a state webpage on the project.

Another project that started in 2021 aims to address congestion along I-695 from I-70 to Maryland 43 in White Marsh. Designed to optimize the highway’s capacity and reduce congestion, that project includes convert portions of the existing median shoulder to a travel lane during the morning and evening rush hours, according to that project’s state webpage.