WOODLAWN, MD – The Maryland State Police (MSP) is reporting that MSP have arrested two people who were indicted Monday on charges associated with the deaths of six highway construction workers following a fatal pedestrian crash that occurred on March 22, 2023 on Interstate 695 in Baltimore County.
Lisa Adrienne Lea, 54, of Randallstown, Maryland, has been indicted on six counts of manslaughter, six counts of negligent homicide, six counts of causing the death of a vulnerable individual while operating a motor vehicle, driving under the influence, conducting an unsafe lane change, speeding, failure to control speed to avoid a collision, following a vehicle too closely, negligent driving and aggressive driving. She surrendered this morning at the Maryland State Police Golden Ring Barrack, where she is being processed.
Melachi Duane Darnell Brown, 20, of Baltimore, Maryland, was indicted on six counts of manslaughter, six counts of negligent homicide, six counts of causing the death of a vulnerable individual while operating a motor vehicle, conducting an unsafe lane change, speeding, failure to control speed to avoid a collision, following a vehicle too closely, negligent driving and aggressive driving. Brown was arrested Monday and transported to the Baltimore County Detention Center. He was later released to home detention following an initial appearance before a District Court Commissioner.
The preliminary investigation indicates Lea, who was driving a 2017 Acura TLX, was traveling in lane 2 of the inner loop of 695 at Security Boulevard on March 22, 2023, at about 12:40 p.m. when she attempted to change lanes. As Lea attempted to move into lane 1, police believe her vehicle struck the front corner panel on the passenger side of a Volkswagen Passat driven by Brown.
Crash Team investigators believe this caused the Acura to lose control and subsequently travel through the barrier opening into the work zone and overturned. The construction workers were working in an active work zone on the left shoulder of the inner loop of I-695 in Baltimore County when the incident occurred.
Emergency medical personnel from the Baltimore County Fire Department pronounced six contractual highway workers deceased on the scene.
The victims are identified as:
- Rolando Ruiz, 46, of Laurel
- Carlos Orlando Villatoro Escobar, 43, of Frederick
- Jose Armando Escobar, 52, of Frederick
- Mahlon Simmons III, 31, of Union Bridge
- Mahlon Simmons II, 52, of Union Bridge
- Sybil Lee Dimaggio, 46, of Glen Burnie
Maryland State Police from the Golden Ring Barrack and the Traffic Incident Management Section responded to the scene. Officers from the Baltimore County Police Department also responded to assist. Investigators from the Maryland Department of Transportation Occupational Safety Office, Maryland Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are working in coordination with the Maryland State Police Crash Team.
Once the Crash Team completed its investigation, the findings were submitted to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office, which determined the appropriate charges in this case.
The Maryland State Police remains committed to reducing fatalities on our states’ roadways, especially those occurring in highway construction zones. Motorists are encouraged to call 911 or #77 anytime they observe aggressive driving behavior.