Columbia man identified as victim in fatal crash

Maryland State Police have identified a man who died Wednesday night in a fatal crash on eastbound I-70 near New Market, according to a news release.

Robert Jeffrey Adler, 56, of Columbia, was pronounced dead at the scene after his car struck a tractor-trailer driving in the right lane.

“It just looked like he ran into the back of the trailer and maybe just wasn’t paying attention,” Trooper First Class Jeremy Hite said after the crash Wednesday.

Police were still searching for Adler’s family Thursday night.

Efforts to notify his family have been unsuccessful, but they are continuing, police said.

Adler was driving a 2000 Toyota Celica when he crashed a few feet away from a Maryland State Police Scale House.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, James Woodrow McDonald, 34, of New Albany, Miss., was not injured in the crash, according to police who said a passenger was also riding in the truck.

The passenger, Heather McDonald, 32, also of New Albany, was not hurt.

Alder’s vehicle and the trailer were heavily damaged in the crash. Both speed and driver error were factors in the crash, police said.

Anyone with information about Adler is asked to contact the Maryland State Police Frederick Barrack at 301-600-4151.

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