Police: One Killed, Three Injured When Tractor-Trailer Slams Into Prison Road Crew

Regional Desk – Maryland State Police are investigating a multi-vehicle crash that killed one person and injured at least three others Tuesday morning in Frederick County.

Shortly before 9:30 a.m., a red freightliner tractor-trailer was headed westbound on I-70 in the area of Route 17 in Myersville, Maryland. For unknown reasons the tractor-trailer swerved across the solid white line onto the right shoulder and struck a trailer connected to a Chevrolet Express van, which is owned and operated by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correction Services, according to police.

Outside of the van were six inmates who were working on the right side of the highway. After striking the van, the tractor-trailer continued and struck at least two inmate pedestrians. At least two additional inmate pedestrians were struck by debris. The driver of the tractor-trailer remained at the scene.

One inmate, identified as Milton Pajak, 34, was killed in the crash. Another inmate, a 24-year-old man, was transported by ambulance to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, Maryland with serious injuries. The two remaining injured inmates were transported to Meritus Medical Center with lesser injuries. A correctional officer, who was inside the van at the time of the crash, was not injured.

Following the crash, an unrelated dump truck and trailer combination jackknifed into the median to avoid the first incident. The tractor-trailer also sustained damage to its fuel tanks and HAZ-MAT crews responded to the scene to deal with the fuel spill.

The inmates were all secured in an additional Department of Public Safety and Correction Services van. I-70 westbound in the area of Route 17 in Myersville, Maryland was shut down as a result of the crash.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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