Woman drives into oncoming traffic in fatal US 50 crash

WASHINGTON — A woman is dead after she drove her vehicle with an infant on board into oncoming traffic on US 50 in Anne Arundel County Wednesday afternoon. The crash response and clean up closed US 50 in both directions in the area for hours.

Around 1:30 p.m., 22-year-old Laura Ashley Murphy — of Salisbury, Maryland — drove her black 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan westbound on the eastbound lanes of US 50 when she crashed head-on into a silver 2016 Mercedes SUV near Md. Route 2 in Annapolis. Murphy was pronounced dead at the scene, said Maryland State police.

The only other passenger in Murphy’s vehicle was a 14-month-old. Maryland State police flew the infant to Johns Hopkins for treatment. The infant’s injuries are critical, according to Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

A look at the crash on US 50 in Anne Arundel County. (Courtesy MDSHA)

The Mercedes SUV Murphy hit was knocked into nearby woods, and the driver, Robert Skidmore, 66, of Cape St. Clair, Maryland, had to be extricated. Emergency crews flew the male driver to Shock Trauma, police said.

Skidmore died Wednesday night from his injuries.

“It took a few hours [to extricate Skidmore],” said Elena Russo, spokesperson for Maryland State police. “That vehicle ended up in the wooded area on the side of the road on its side, so it took our EMS personnel some time to get him out of there.”

A third vehicle, a 2016 Nissan 350-Z, was involved in the crash, but no one was injured in that car, police said. There was minor damage to the vehicle.

The crash, response and clean up closed US 50 at Md. Route 2 in both directions for several hours Wednesday afternoon. Westbound US 50 reopened at about 4:15 p.m. and eastbound lanes reopened at about 5:45 p.m.

Police say they are not sure where the woman entered US 50 driving the wrong way. Calls to 911 started coming in a mile-and-a-half before the scene of the crash.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report from Washington.

Sarah Beth Hensley

Sarah Beth Hensley is the Digital News Director at WTOP. She has worked several different roles since she began with WTOP in 2013 and has contributed to award-winning stories and coverage on the website.

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