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Maryland State Police Barrack Details I 70 Crashes

September 30th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

Maryland State Police identified the persons killed and injured in two early morning crashes on eastbound I-70 in western Washington County that caused the closure of the interstate for more than eight hours.    

The driver killed in the first crash is identified as Allen W. Kifer, 60, of Barton, MD  He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The driver injured in the second crash is identified as Robert L. Watkins, 53, of Lakeland, GA.  He was transported by ambulance to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown where he remains. 

The first crash occurred shortly before 2:30 a.m. today on eastbound I-70 near Hancock.  The preliminary investigation indicates Demetrio G. Catapang, 54, of Ontario, CA, was driving a 2016 Freightliner tractor trailer eastbound on I-70 when, for unknown reasons, he lost control and the vehicle jackknifed across all eastbound lanes of the interstate.  A 2008 Chevrolet HHR driven by Kifer struck the jackknifed tractor trailer. 

The investigation indicates Kifer got out of his car and was near his vehicle when a second tractor trailer passing by struck him and his vehicle.  The driver of that tractor trailer is identified as Timothy C. Beckering, 38, of Stanton, PA, who was operating a 2016 Freightliner. 

About 20 minutes later, as traffic backed up behind the first crash scene, a second crash occurred about one mile west of the first.  The investigation indicates Alexander Evchenko, 54, of Quebec, was stopped in traffic in a 2007 Freightliner tractor trailer.  His vehicle was rear-ended by a tractor trailer driven by Watkins, causing a fire in the striking vehicle.  Watkins was operating a 2009 Freightliner.    

Troopers reported heavy rain in the area with reduced visibility at the time of the crashes.  The causes and contributing factors in both crashes remain under investigation at this time.  

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