Tractor-trailer strikes, kills man in I-270 crash in Montgomery County

A man was killed early Friday morning after he was struck by a tractor-trailer on Interstate 270 in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Jerasimos Ray Blanton, 33, of Rockville, Maryland, was on the busy roadway at the time of the crash, but he was driving a 2015 Ford Explorer, Maryland State Police said in an update Friday afternoon.

The crash happened around 5:30 a.m. when a 2018 Freightliner flatbed truck traveling north on I-270, north of Shady Grove Road, hit the man, state police said.

When state troopers responded to the scene, they found the unattended Ford Explorer on the right shoulder, and it was elevated on a jack with extensive damage to its left side. The Freightliner was stopped further up.

State police said Blanton was driving on northbound I-270 when he hit the concrete median; it’s unclear why he struck the median. That impact may have caused the left front tire to deflate.

With the SUV stopped in the right shoulder, state police said Blanton had jacked it up to try to change the tire. But he apparently was trying to cross the northbound lanes of I-270 when he was hit by the tractor-trailer, state police said. Investigators are still unsure why he was trying to cross.

Blanton died at the scene, and his body was taken to the chief medical examiner’s office in Baltimore for autopsy.

The Freightliner driver was not injured, and he stayed on the scene.

The main lanes on I-270 northbound were closed until about 10 a.m.

Police continue to investigate. Anyone who may have witnessed this crash can call the Rockville Barrack at (301) 424-2101.

Below is a map of the area where the crash happened.

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Fonda Mwangi

Fonda Mwangi is a Associate Producer at WTOP. Before joining WTOP she was an investigative intern at WJLA. She also wrote for student magazine, Envision, covering finances for college students. Fonda got her Masters in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University.

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