Inmate killed, 3 hurt while mowing along I-70

Posted at 6:10 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 20:29:25-05

A Maryland Corrections inmate is dead and three others are injured while mowing grass along the shoulder of an interstate.

The incident happened on Tuesday at around 9:45 a.m. on westbound I-70 near MD 17- Myersville Road in Frederick County.

Officials with the Maryland Department of Corrections said a tractor trailer side swiped a corrections van occupied by an officer and then went into a guard rail near where six inmates had been mowing and landscaping.

Maryland State Police say 34-year-old Milton Pajak was pronounced dead at the scene. The three injured inmates were identified as Wade Rickets, 24, Robert Knight and Aaron Abrecht. Each were transported by ambulance to Meritus Medical Center. 

All inmates on the road crew were from the Maryland Correctional Training Center in Hagerstown.

The officer inside the Corrections van at the time it was struck reported no injuries. 

According to their spokesperson, the Department of Corrections had all routine safety precautions in place at the time of the incident.

The tractor trailer driver, 53-year-old Frenel Pierre of Columbia was not injured. 

Police say no charges have been filed but could be pending as the crash remains under investigation.

After the crash, an unrelated dump truck, trailer combination jack-knifed into the median to avoid the first accident. The tractor-trailer sustained damage to its fuel tanks and Hazmat crews were called to the scene to deal with the spill.