Multi-Vehicle Crash Closes I-95 South Tunnel

-photo courtesy of MDTA Twitter-

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) reported a crash on southbound I-95 right tube at Ft McHenry Tunnel on Tuesday around 1 p.m.

Both tubes of the tunnels were closed for cleanup for a few hours.

MDTA reported a multi-vehicle crash and a fuel spill as result of the crash.

The left tube reopened around 3:30 on Tuesday. Backups could be seen from O’Donnell Street.

MD State Police Investigating Sunday’s Bus Crash

Maryland State Police are continuing to investigate a bus crash in which more than two dozen people were injured Sunday in Kingsville.

Shortly before 7 a.m. on Sunday, troopers from the Maryland State Police JFK Memorial Highway Barrack responded to Interstate 95 South near Kingsville, Maryland for a report of a bus that overturned. According to a preliminary report, the bus was in the right lane of the highway when the driver swerved to avoid striking another vehicle. The driver lost control of the bus, leading to it going off the road and overturning.

The bus rolled over near Bradshaw and Raphel roads. It was carrying 47 people. Twenty-seven people reported injuries at the scene. Twelve of those victims refused transport and 15 were taken to local hospitals for treatment of their injuries.

Baltimore County and Harford County fire and EMS crews responded to the scene to care for the patients. No fatalities were reported. Neither impaired or distracted driving were factors in the crash. No charges have been filed in this case.

The crash remains under investigation.

County FOP Asks Police Chief to Resign/She Declines

The Baltimore County FOP Lodge 4 sent a letter to Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski to ask for the resignation of Baltimore County Chief Melissa Hyatt.

“A short time ago, we gathered as members of the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #4. After much discussion, a motion was made requesting that Chief Melissa Hyatt be removed from her position as the Chief of the Baltimore County Police Department,” said a statement from the FOP on Twitter.

The letter complained about Hyatt on issues such as the handling of sex harassment/hostile work environment cases, not taking questions during In-Service training, not having a direct contact with the union, honoring “disgraced” officer Tia Byrum, who was accused in the kidnapping and murder of two children and the rise in crime throughout Baltimore County.

“This was a very difficult decision for the membership, but the motion was unanimous. Morale has never been lower.”

Hyatt immediately released a statement declining the FOP’s request for her to step down. Her statement is below:

“On June 17, 2019, I was sworn in as the 14th Chief of Police for the Baltimore County Police Department. As a lifelong resident of our County, I fully appreciated the responsibility entrusted to me as the Chief of Police.

When I arrived, I quickly discovered that our Department already had a strong foundation and its members were dedicated and hard working law enforcement professionals. I also enjoyed a productive working relationship with the prior union leadership, which included open and frequent communication.

Unfortunately, a small group of my critics from within the current police union leadership have encouraged its members to request my removal from office. While I am disappointed to learn about this effort, I will not be discouraged.

For the past three years, I have had the honor to lead our Police Department and support the extraordinary efforts of our members.

Department members have the opportunity to participate in focus groups, listening sessions, and open forums to provide their feedback. This is in addition to establishing a dedicated police union liaison and an e-mail address that allows for direct communication between any member of the agency and myself.

My work has been, and will continue to be, focused on our commitment to crime reduction, building and maintaining meaningful relationships within the community, increasing accountability, expanding our employee wellness program, and providing the best training and equipment to our members.

I continue to be grateful for the support from the community we serve, our County Executive, and the County Council. Their collective investment in our mission is an integral part of making public safety a priority here in Baltimore County.

It is a challenging time to work in the law enforcement profession. I am extremely proud of the exceptional work that our members do on a daily basis, as we navigate together through unprecedented police reform legislation and a global pandemic.

I remain committed to leading the members of our police department and will not be deterred or distracted from ensuring that we continue to provide the highest level of service to all of the communities throughout Baltimore County.”

Attorney General Investigating Police Involved Shooting in Essex

The Independent Investigations Division of the Office of the Attorney General is investigating a fatal officer-involved shooting that occurred in the 900 block of Boundbrook Way in Essex on Wednesday May 4.

On that day at approximately 4 p.m., officers with the Baltimore County Police Department responded to a home on Boundbrook Way for the report of a physical domestic disturbance. The 911 caller stated that a man inside the home was throwing items at a family member.

While officers were inside the home speaking to the man, he picked up two knives. Officers gave commands to drop the knives, but the man did not comply. The man then moved quickly towards officers with the knives. One officer deployed their taser and two officers discharged their firearms, striking the man. He was pronounced dead on scene. No one else was injured during the encounter.

The Independent Investigations Division will generally release the name of the decedent and involved officers within 48 hours of the incident, though that period may be extended if there is a specific reason to believe that an officer’s safety is at risk.

The body-worn cameras of the involved officers were active during the incident. The Independent Investigations Division will generally release body camera footage within 14 days of an incident. There may be situations where more than 14 days is necessary, including if
investigators need more time to complete witness interviews, if there are technical delays caused by the need to shield the identities of civilian witnesses, or to allow family members to view the video before it is released to the public.

In order to carry out an appropriately thorough investigation and conduct untainted interviews, the Independent Investigations Division (IID) is delaying the release of the body-worn camera footage from the fatal officer-involved shooting in the city of Essex in Baltimore County on May 4.

A key component of IID investigations is witness interviews. While typically the IID is able to interview relevant witnesses within 14 days so that the video may be released, that timeline cannot always be met. To ensure witness interviews are not compromised by their viewing of external evidence, the release of the body-worn and dashboard camera footage will be delayed.
Once the release of the video will not compromise the investigation, the IID will make public the body-worn camera footage on its video channel.

Per the IID protocols, “The IID will generally release body camera footage within 14 days of the incident. There may be situations where more than 14 days is necessary, including if investigators need more time to complete witness interviews, if there are technical delays caused by the need to redact the identities of civilian witnesses, or to allow family members to view the video before it is released to the public.”

Winning $10,000 Lottery Ticket Sold in Essex

The Maryland Lottery announced its statewide winners from last week and that included a RACETRAX winner from Essex.

According to the lottery, a $10,000 Winfall Doubler ticket was sold May 17 at Weis Markets on Orville Road in Essex.

That ticket was claimed.

The Maryland Lottery encourages players to check their tickets by scanning them at any Lottery retailer or with the Lottery’s mobile apps. Draw game winners have 182 days from the date of a drawing to claim their prizes, and scratch-off winners have 182 days from the announced end-of-game date.

Last claim dates for scratch-off tickets are published in the scratch-off section of

 Pine Grove Middle to Break Ground on Expansion

BCPS Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski will join members of the Board of Education of Baltimore County and the Baltimore County delegation in officially breaking ground for a new addition and major renovations project at Pine Grove Middle School, 9200 Old Harford Road in Carney.

The event will take place on Wednesday, May 25, at 9:00 a.m.

The $43.2 million project will provide nearly 20,000 more square feet of learning space, while boosting the school’s capacity by 222 seats.

Designed to update and modernize the space within the 1974-era school, both internal and external improvements are expected to be completed by 2025.

The County recently broke ground on a new middle school on King Avenue.

Another Storm Warning Issued Until 8:30

It is time for another round of storms as the National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington has called for a
another severe thunderstorm warning for the area.

This warning is more for southeast Baltimore County until 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 22.

Northeast Baltimore County is not under the warning.

Baltimore County Gives Update on Bus Crash

-photo courtesy of Joppa Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company-

Baltimore County Fire Department released an update on what they called a “mass casualty incident” near Kingsville involving a Megabus that rolled over on I-95 south.

The bus rolled over near Bradshaw and Raphel roads. It was carrying 47 people. Twenty-seven people suffered minor injuries. Twelve of those refused transport, and 15 were transported to local hospitals.

Fire and rescue crews were dispatched at 6:55 a.m. Units from Harford County also responded under mutual aid agreements.

No other vehicles were involved.

The crash is under investigation by Maryland State Police.