July 29, 2010

Johnson & Johnson Recalls Additional Three Million Bottles of Over-the-Counter Medications

Johnson & Johnson announced on Thursday, July 8, 2010 that it would recall about three million bottles of Tylenol and various other over-the-counter drugs. According to Reuters, the Thursday recall involves 21 medications, including Tylenol for children and adults, Motrin and several kinds of Benadryl. This is Johnson & Johnson’s third recall in the past six months.

Media is overwhelmed by the series of recalls as Johnson & Johnson has released limited information on the number of affected bottles. On June 15, the company had recalled four lots of Benadryl and one lot of Extra Strength Tylenol. Nearly a month later, it disclosed that the bottle count totaled 500,000 for the June 15 recall.

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July 1, 2010

CPSC Fireworks Injuries Warning for Independence Day

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, several Maryland residents have already begun celebrating with fireworks and other devices. While a patriotic spirit is not out of the question, far too many citizens disregard safety when it should be their main concern if utilizing these potentially dangerous objects. A new study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reveals that fireworks-related incidents were responsible for two deaths in 2009 and approximately 9,000 emergency room visits for injuries. According to the CPSC, throughout the 30 days near last year’s holiday, about 6,000 injuries involving fireworks were reported in which half of the injuries related to firecrackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers.

Consumers below the age of 20 are the most susceptible to fireworks injuries; however, the risk of serious injury or even death still presents itself to anyone within close range of fireworks. Some common fireworks injuries and hazards include:

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March 30, 2010

Semi Kills Husband, Seriously Injures Wife

On February 26, 2010 at approximately 11:20 p.m., a semi traveling along I-95 struck a husband and wife standing on the side of the interstate. According to a Baltimore Sun article, the couple had been traveling in separate vehicles along the highway when they pulled over and exited along the side of the highway. Investigators are unclear as to why the couple pulled over.

Based on the article, the 38-year-old husband, driving a Dodge Charger, exited his vehicle and reportedly went to meet his 39-year-old wife who was standing outside of her Dodge Durango along the northbound lanes of I-95 in Harford County. State police report that a tractor-trailer drove by and struck the couple while they stood together on the side of the roadway.

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March 25, 2010

68-Year-Old Woman Dies in Two-Car Crash

On Sunday March 14, 2010, a 68-year-old woman died after sustaining serious injuries from a two-car accident on Route 15 in Frederick County, Maryland. Maryland State Police indicated that a pickup truck did not stop at the Mountville Road traffic light and rear-ended a Dodge Caravan. According to an article posted on Your4State.com, both drivers and the five passengers in the van were injured. The 68-year-old woman was initially brought to Washington County Hospital and then airlifted to Shock Trauma. She died later that day in the hospital. Charges are currently pending against the pickup truck driver, a 31 year-old man from Virginia.

By law, drivers are responsible for any injuries or accidents that occur as a result of their own negligence. Not abiding traffic laws, such as running a red light, often falls under this category. Personal injury claims in Maryland as well as wrongful-death lawsuits may ensue. Automobile accidents are the leading killer for Americans of all ages. Survivors of accidents may have serious, life-long injuries and sustain emotional trauma.

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March 23, 2010

Family of Deceased Bicyclist Files $5 Million Lawsuit

According to a Baltimore Sun article, on August 4, 2009, a 67-year-old man was traveling south by bicycle along Baltimore’s Maryland Avenue when he became entangled in the rear wheels of a truck. The man was run over and killed as the vehicle turned right on Lafayette Avenue in the Charles North neighborhood. The driver of the fully loaded fuel tanker failed to stop, although investigators do not believe the driver was aware of the accident. The cyclist died at the scene.

The civil suit, filed March 3, 2010 on behalf of the victim’s family, alleges negligence on the part of the driver and his employer, a local demolition, excavation and equipment rental company. The wrongful-death lawsuit seeks compensatory damages of $5 million.

The victim’s attorney claims that the driver is to blame due to surveillance video that shows the driver failing to signal as he makes the right turn. He also contends that the driver failed to make sure the area was clear and free of cyclists and pedestrians before turning right.

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March 11, 2010

Homeless Man Killed in Ellicott City Train Accident

A 41-year-old homeless man was struck and killed by a train in Ellicott City, Maryland on February 4, 2010. Based on a news article from explorehoward.com, Howard County Police were called to the scene after the train engineer reported striking someone laying on the tracks. According to reports, the engineer saw the unknown object on the tracks, but was unable to stop the train in time to avoid collision. The train accident in Ellicott City occurred about a half-mile from the end of Maryland Ave. The man was declared dead at the scene when police arrived.

Police do not suspect foul play in this train collision. Detectives found alcohol in the man’s backpack, and reported an odor of alcohol on him. The man may have been sleeping or passed out on the tracks when he was struck. However the accident is still under investigation.

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March 4, 2010

Hanover Man Possibly Struck by Train Undergoes Multiple Surgeries

According to a recent news article, on December 13, 2009 a 21-year-old man woke up seriously injured on the train tracks dividing Anne Arundel and Howard Counties in Maryland. The man was dehydrated with a pounding headache, had torn pants, was wearing one shoe and his legs were throbbing in pain. The last thing he remembered was doing the “Cha Cha Slide” at his company’s Christmas party and claims that he has no idea how he ended up on the train tracks.

Unable to walk, the man reportedly dragged himself along the rail-bed for several hours before crawling down the embankment to Dorsey Rd. before sunrise. Upon finding a passerby, he explained that he was struck by a train, and was eventually taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center before being transferred to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Reports indicate that the man and his family live near Ohio Avenue which runs parallel to the railroad tracks used by CSX, Amtrak and MARC trains, and that the area has no fence or railing to prevent someone from walking onto the tracks. Howard County police walked the tracks looking for clues, but only found the man’s missing shoe about 50 feet south of the train station.

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February 23, 2010

Maryland Train Track Incident Kills 2 Workers

A recent examiner.com article reported that two veteran workers on the Washington area’s transit system were killed in Rockville, MD on January 26, 2010 after being crushed by a maintenance truck. Apparently, the automatic train technicians, ages 49 and 68, were installing new train control safety equipment in the track bed when a high rail truck struck them. The track was supposed to have been closed for the evening. However, the special vehicle that hit the two men is capable of operating on the track even when electricity is off, thus explaining its presence during the maintenance work.

With this latest fatal Metro incident, the public is reminded of how deadly a work environment Metro has been for U.S. transit rail workers over the past five years. A National Transportation Safety Board investigator said that the rail truck in this incident was in reverse, which is not uncommon. The Chairman of the Metro board of directors stated that this tragic accident was the direct result of human error.

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January 14, 2010

Woman Killed in a Two-Car Crash

A 34 year old woman from Pennsylvania was killed in a two-car crash when the driver of the pick-up truck she was riding in lost control of the vehicle on an icy part of Old York Road in White Hall and crashed into another vehicle. According to the Baltimore Sun, a 41 year old man was driving his 2006 Ford pick-up truck on Old York Road when he crossed a double yellow line to pass a 2005 Chevrolet pick-up truck, skidded on the icy pavement and crashed into the other truck. The woman, reportedly from Stewartstown, was killed as a result of the collision. The driver of the Ford truck was ejected from his vehicle and transported by ambulance to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where he was listed in critical condition. The driver of the Chevrolet pickup was uninjured.

Driving in wintertime can be more dangerous, as rain, snow and ice affect a vehicle’s traction on the road. If road conditions are very icy, tire chains for your front wheels can be used to aid in traction. Rain puddles and flooding can cause vehicles to lose grip and hydroplane, which can cause a vehicle to spin out of control.

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December 8, 2009

Driver Involved in Baltimore County School Bus Accident Injured

There is no question that the safety of children is a daily concern of parents, teachers, and anyone responsible for taking children into their care. School bus drivers in particular base their career on ensuring that children are transported to and from school without experiencing any danger or harm. Part of a school bus driver’s job is to uphold this important responsibility. Although it may not be as obvious, motorists of all vehicles on the road must take the well-being of children into consideration as well, particularly when a child is crossing the street, riding a bike, or is a passenger on a bus or in a car.

With the above points in mind, a recent accident involving a school bus and a small passenger car sent out ripples of concern amongst parents of Harford students who were traveling to school on the morning of November 11, 2009. According to a baltimoresun.com article, the school bus transporting the Harford County students to the Maryland School for the Blind was hit by a small passenger vehicle. It was reported that neither the students nor the bus driver were injured, however, the driver of the other vehicle did sustain injury. At the time of this writing no additional information regarding the injured driver has been released.

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October 29, 2009

Maryland Light Rail Collides With Car, 3 Injured

A recent auto collision with a light rail train serves as a reminder of how important it is to use extreme caution when in close proximity to tracks where light rails operate. According to an abc2news.com story, three people were injured when their vehicle crashed into a light rail at the intersection of Howard and Lombard. Apparently, the impact of the train caused the car carrying the three individuals to move approximately 100 yards. One of the victim’s injuries was deemed serious; however, none of the three individuals’ injuries were reported to be life-threatening. They were taken to University of Maryland Medical Center.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police are still investigating the collision to determine its exact cause. If it is determined that negligence on the part of the train operator was responsible for causing the accident, the injured parties may be able to hold the operator liable for financial costs associated with their injuries and property damage.

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October 1, 2009

Maryland ATV Accident Kills 17 Year Old

An article from wtop.com reported on June 20, 2009 that a 17-year-old Flintstone boy was killed in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accident in Allegany County. Apparently, in an effort to avoid hitting a wire fence while traveling on a private farmland dirt trail, the teen lost control of the ATV and crashed. An 18-year-old passenger on the ATV suffered injuries. It is not known at this time whether the teens were wearing helmets at the time of the incident or if any obstructions played a factor in causing the accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advocates teen driver safety, as do all parents, teachers, neighbors and friends alike. According to the NHTSA website, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths in America. Teens are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers. This staggering amount of young adults killed due to auto accidents of all kinds, including ATV accidents, motorcycle accidents, car accidents, and pedestrian accidents, are mostly attributed to lack of experience on highways and roads.

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June 26, 2009

D.C. Area Train Accident Investigation Unfolds

In the days following the tragic Washington area train accident as investigation into the cause of the accident is unfolding, more information has been revealed; however, much more is still needed. We now know that the train responsible for hitting the other train was operating in automatic mode controlled mainly by computer. But many questions still remain at this time including what caused the computerized system to fail and why the approaching train didn't stop even though the emergency brake activation button was found pushed down. According to an article, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, Debbie Hersman, said that it remains unclear whether the emergency brake was actually engaged or not.

No train accident has resulted in so many deaths and injuries in Metrorail’s 33 years of operation. Nine lives were lost and over seventy passengers suffered serious injuries due to the collision. Metro General Manager John Catoe said that all signs of the investigation show that the operator, 42 year old Jeanice McMillan of Springfield, Virginia did everything possible in her control to prevent the collision. "There is no evidence whatsoever that this driver has done anything to cause this accident," Catoe said Tuesday. A memorial service for McMillan, who was killed in the accident, is scheduled to take place on June 26, 2009.

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June 25, 2009

NTSB Investigates Fatal Metro Train Collision

Time is of the essence for National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) members as they work tirelessly to preserve as much evidence as possible in order to determine the cause of Monday’s fatal D.C. Metro train accident. At approximately 5 pm, two Red Line six-car trains were apparently on the same track when train 112 crashed into train 214, according to an account. The accident is the deadliest in Metro history and has brought tragedy to the families of the nine people who were killed; a loss that no one should ever have to endure and our condolences certainly go out to them.

The NTSB will be examining multiple factors that could have been the cause of this accident, one of which relates to the Metro’s 1000 series cars – the most aged cars in the system and the type that struck train 214 as it stood still. Aside from the car itself, the investigation will also include looking at the Metro’s train equipment, maintenance, functionality of the fail-safe computerized system that controls speed and braking, signal system, tracks, cell phone and texting records, and whether the striking train’s brakes were applied.

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June 24, 2009

Death Toll of Metro Train Crash Rises to 9

It has now been reported that at least nine people have been killed in Monday’s tragic and fatal Washington D.C. Metro train crash. The collision occurred during rush hour on June 22, 2009 and has sent waves of shock and emotion throughout the nation. Such a catastrophic accident has never been seen in the history of the Metro’s thirty-three year transportation service. At this time, 76 passengers are reported to have experienced personal injuries including two in serious condition.

Jeanice McMillan, 42, the operator of the train, was among those killed in the D.C. train crash. Metro spokeswoman, Candace Smith stated that of the nine confirmed dead, two victims were men and seven were women.

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June 23, 2009

Metro Train Crash Kills at Least Six between D.C. and Maryland Border

A fatal Washington D.C. metro train crash has left at least six dead and as many as seventy-six others injured. The accident, which occurred on Monday, June 22, 2009 just after rush hour, has left residents of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area shocked and saddened. According to one report, Metro spokeswoman Kath Asata said that a six-car Red Line train collided with another Metro train north of downtown Washington D.C. between Fort Totten and Takoma Park, Maryland and then derailed.

Mayor Adrian Fenty is calling this catastrophe the “deadliest crash in the history of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.” The crash occurred just before 5 pm during rush-hour. It has been reported that 76 passengers were taken to area hospitals to treat their personal injuries, including two in critical condition.

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June 11, 2009

Maryland Car Crash Caused by Negligent Driving

According to a TheBayNet.com report, a three-car collision near the intersection of Maryland Route 2 and Route 260 was caused by a driver running a red light. Police responding to the crash said that on the morning of May 6, 2009, the driver of the at-fault vehicle ran the red light at the intersection and careened into two other vehicles on Route 260.

No fatalities were reported in the crash, although four of the people involved in the accident were transported to Calvert Memorial Hospital.

A car accident in Maryland like this can be especially frustrating for the drivers and passengers whose only fault was being at the wrong place at the wrong time. When other drivers fail to follow the rules of the road, others suffer—even if they were doing their best to operate their vehicles safely.

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June 4, 2009

Maryland Highway Flagger Killed by Elderly Driver

According to a WBOC.com article, a highway flagger was struck and killed on the morning of May 4, 2009 by a motorist in Marion Station, Maryland. Tammy Hammond, a flagger with Barrett Flagging Company, was struck on Route 413 by a vehicle being operated by 74-year-old Doris McDorman, a resident of Crisfield, Maryland.

At the time of the pedestrian accident in Maryland, Hammond was standing on the shoulder of the road and was within a work zone. Although an ambulance transported Hammond to a local hospital, she died from her injuries. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends as they deal with the loss of her companionship.

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May 29, 2009

Motorcyclist Leads Maryland Police on Hour-Long Chase

The police blotter for the FrederickNewsPost.com reports that Maryland State Police arrested a motorcyclist after an hour-long chase on US 15 near Thurmont. According to the blotter, 25-year-old Benjamin Kieffer was speeding in the northbound lanes of US 15 south of Thurmont, when he was noticed by members of the Maryland State Police.

One reason that law enforcement officials frown on those who flee from arrest is because of the additional dangers that a desperate individual represents. While the motorcyclist in this case was engaged in fleeing from police officers, he put all of the other people traveling on that portion of US 15 in unnecessary danger. Had there been an auto accident in Maryland, those injured or killed in the crash would have suffered because of the selfish flight of the motorcycle operator.

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April 14, 2009

Anne Arundel Car Accident Kills Woman

The Baltimore Sun reports in a story that a rear-end collision sparked a chain reaction automobile crash in Maryland that resulted in a fire and fatality in Anne Arundel County.

On March 4, 2009, a rear-end car collision on East Ordnance Road in Glen Burnie sent one of the vehicles across the center lines of the roadway and into the path of a garbage truck headed the opposite direction. After impact, the car and garbage truck burst into flames. The driver of the car, 33-year-old Christine Schoppert, died of injuries sustained in the truck accident in Maryland.

Lavelas Luckey, a Coast Guard officer who was on his way to work, rescued the driver’s 5-year-old daughter from the burning wreckage of the vehicles. As of this writing, she is undergoing treatment at John’s Hopkins Pediatric Trauma Center for “life-threatening injuries,” according to the Sun story.

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March 26, 2009

Anne Arundel Woman Pulled from Burning Car

The Baltimore Sun reports in an article that two Maryland State Police officers rescued an unconscious woman from a burning van as a result of a Maryland auto accident during the morning hours of March 11, 2009.

At approximately 6:30 am, Melody Grimm, 57, of Crofton, MD drove her minivan off the roadway for reasons unknown. When Police Officer John Griffin and Cadet Andrew Neall arrived on the scene, the engine compartment of Grimm’s vehicle was burning and thick smoke filled the interior of the minivan.

Cadet Neall tried to open the driver’s side door and found it locked. Officer Griffin broke one of the minivan’s windows to gain entry. Inside they found Grimm unconscious in the front seat of the vehicle. As flames spread from the engine under the van, the two police officers lifted Grimm out and carried her to safety. Moments later the minivan burst into flames.

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