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Inmate dead after tractor-trailer strikes him on I-70; 3 others on work crew hurt

The crash scene on I-70 in Maryland Tuesday morning. (Courtesy NBC Washington)

WASHINGTON — A Maryland Correctional Training Center inmate died after he was struck by a tractor-trailer during a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 70 near Myersville, Maryland, Tuesday.

Three other inmates, who were part of the six-man crew, were injured. The other two were not.


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Maryland State Police identified the inmate who died as Milton Pajak, 34. The injured victims are identified as Wade Rickets, 24, Robert Knight and Aaron Abrecht. Police did not have the ages of Knight and Abrecht.

The crew from the Hagerstown prison was working along the shoulder of the interstate when a red Freightliner tractor-trailer traveling westbound on I-70 swerved onto the right shoulder and collided with a trailer connected to a Chevrolet Express van, owned and operated by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correction Services. The crash occurred around 9:30 a.m., shutting down the highway for hours.

The man who died and another were struck by the tractor-trailer. Two others were injured by debris from the collision. A corrections officer inside the van wasn’t hurt, police said in a news release.

The injured men were taken to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown. One had serious injuries. The others had less serious injuries.

Compounding the fatal I-70 incident, a dump truck jackknifed into the median while trying to avoid the first crash.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Frenel Pierre, 53, of Columbia, Maryland, was not hurt.

Police are continuing to investigate.

A map of the area where the crash happened is below.


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