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NTSB report on fatal I-695 crash reveals safety lapses; victims family lawyer demands action

Here's your Friday afternoon news round up | 04/12/2024
Here's your Friday afternoon news round up | 04/12/2024 01:56

BALTIMORE -- Now that the NTSB released its full reports on last year's deadly I-695 crash, the lawyer of one of the victims' families is raising concerns.

Michael Belsky represents the family of Sybil DiMaggio, one of the six construction workers killed in that crash. He said the reports proves not enough was done to prevent the crash.

In a brief news conference Friday at his Downtown Baltimore office, Belsky told reporters there are three takeaways from the NTSB's investigation.

After DiMaggio's death on March 22, 2023, her family spoke out about how scary working on the busy highway was for her.

DiMaggio's children, Norah DiMaggio and Dylan DiMaggio, spoke exclusively with WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren last summer.

"Just thinking about how you feel if a car just comes a little bit close to you, when you're on the road, you get that anxiety," Norah DiMaggio said. "What's a hard hat going to do against a car?"

That day, investigators say Lisa Lea and Melachi Brown were going more than 100 miles per hour. When Lea tried to change lanes, she clipped Brown's car - speeding right into the work zone.

The first point Belsky highlights in the NTSB's factual report is the mention of a truck-mounted attenuator. The report notes one of these protective vehicles should have been in place to protect these workers since there was an opening to the work zone.

However, as the report notes, the attenuator was being used to deliver material and was parked and unattended at the time of the crash.

"This left a 149 foot gap that allowed this accident to happen. Had the truck been where it was supposed to be, this couldn't have happened," Belsky said.

Belsky also points out investigators found there was no sign telling drivers the shoulder was closed. The report states the original sign was hit by a driver and was set to be reinstalled later.

The report notes there were four crashes in a mile-radius of the crash in Feb. 2023. No one got hurt in any of those incidents.

Bellsky said his firm is doing its own investigation now, and that he's discussing what to do next with the DiMaggio family.

"My clients are eager to do anything that they can do to make sure this doesn't happen to other roadside workers again, whatever that means," he said.

Lea is due back in court next month. Brown has been sentenced to a year and a half in prison.

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