NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


April 16, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On January 13, 2004, the National Transportation Safety Board dispatched a Go Team to investigate the crash of a tanker truck that departed a ramp where Interstate 895 crosses Interstate 95 in Elkridge, Maryland. The ensuing collisions and fire killed 4 persons. This is an update on the progress of that investigation.

The team has continued to examine the wreckage of the truck. The transmission was examined recently; preliminary information is that the truck's ransmission was found at the time of inspection to be in 8-Speed High Gear. Investigators will determine a range of speeds the truck can travel in that gear.

Also, when the truck was first examined after the crash, it was noted that a leaf spring on the right rear axle of the semi-trailer was broken, with a piece of it missing. The remaining section of the main leaf spring has been removed from the truck and taken to the Safety Board's materials laboratory in Washington. There, examinations will be conducted to determine if there is evidence of pre- impact damage to that piece. The kind of metallurgical examinations may be limited due to the extreme heat the wreckage was exposed to during the post-crash fire.

Toxicological test results have been received on the fatally injured driver of the tanker truck. They are negative for alcohol, illicit drugs and certain prescription and over-the-counter medications for which tests were conducted.

The NTSB's Vehicle Performance Division is conducting a computer simulation of the crash, based on documentation of the wreckage and the accident scene. An accident reconstruction will be enhanced, based on the results of that simulation.

The Safety Board's final report on this investigation is expected sometime next year; safety recommendations may be issued at any time during the course of an investigation.

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100


NTSB accident investigation team members examine wreckage of
tanker truck involved in accident in Elkridge, Maryland on January 13, 2004.

       Tanker truck wreckage, Elkridge, MD.Tanker truck wreckage, Elkridge, MD.


Tanker truck wreckage, Elkridge, MD.



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.