Maryland State Agencies Named in Negligence Lawsuit over Car Accident Death at Hatem Bridge : Trial Underway in Bel Air, Harford County

The father of a young girl killed in a 2001 motor vehicle accident on Hatem Bridge is suing the State of Maryland for negligence. Despite numerous roadblocks delaying legal proceedings, and the passage of more than a decade, the trial finally got underway this month in Harford County Circuit Court.

According to The Baltimore Sun, the fatal auto crash took place in 2001 on the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge in Havre de Grace, Md. News reports state that the crash took place on Aug. 10, 2001, during heavy rain. A 12-year-old girl and her step father were driving west on the bridge on Route 40 over the Susquehanna River. The man’s pickup truck reportedly hit water and hydroplaned, swerving into traffic and hitting a Jeep Cherokee. The young girl was killed and the pickup truck driver was pronounced deceased at a Harford County, Md. hospital.

In 2004, the father of the young girl killed in the crash filed a lawsuit against three Maryland state agencies, claiming they “failed to use reasonable care to protect the public” by installing a dividing barrier on the four-lane bridge. Named in the lawsuit are the Maryland Transportation Authority, the Maryland Department of Transportation, and the State Highway Administration.

Harford County, Maryland car accident injury lawyers may advocate for families in cases where a loved one is injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash. In addition to the two fatalities in this unfortunate case, two other accident victims were injured. The Baltimore Sun reported that one injured accident victim has already been called to testify and describe what she remembers from the day of the crash.

From a legal standpoint, this case is notable as the State of Maryland is named in the lawsuit. The Baltimore Sun reports that attorneys representing the state assert that bad weather conditions – not the design or maintenance of the bridge roadway – led to the fatal pickup truck accident that day in 2001.

This sad case illustrates what we Maryland auto accident injury attorneys know from experience: Accidents can and do happen in an instant. It will be interesting to see how this particular case plays out in Harford County Circuit Court – and whether the State of Maryland is held responsible in the motor vehicle accident death.

Related Maryland Injury Attorney articles:

Queen Anne’s County Maryland Wrongful Death Lawsuit : Family Awarded $100K in Chesapeake Bay Bridge Fatal Truck Accident Case (Sept. 2010)

Maryland Foul Weather Driving Safety Tips : Stay Off the Road, and If You Must Drive – Prepare First, and Drive Defensively (Oct. 2012)


Trial in Hatem Bridge fatality suit continues this week
The Baltimore Sun Nov. 12, 2012
Trial of 2004 lawsuit over Hatem Bridge fatal accident finally under way in Bel Air
The Baltimore Sun Nov. 8, 2012

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