Police/Fire, Politics, Traffic

Police release additional details on Middle River crash that killed Maryland Air National Guard member, elected officials respond to safety concerns

MIDDLE RIVER, MD—Police have released additional information on a fatal crash in Middle River that killed a Maryland Air National Guard member.

At just before 10 p.m. on Wednesday, January 3, 2024, officers responded to a crash that occurred in the 3000-block of Eastern Boulevard (21220).

Detectives with the Baltimore County Police Department have determined that a Mazda CX-5 was entering Eastern Blvd. out of a parking lot when it was struck by an Acura TL. The driver of the Mazda, 30-year-old Lacy O’Neill, was transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead. The driver of the Acura, was transported to an area hospital with non-life threating injuries.

Detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the collision.

TSgt O’Neill was assigned to the 175th Security Forces Squadron Martin State Air National Guard.

Delegate Ryan Nawrocki, Delegate Kathy Szeliga, Senator J.B. Jennings, and Councilman David Marks have been working to address the safety and appearance of Eastern Avenue in Middle River – an effort made even more important with recent crashes along the stretch from Carroll Island Road to White Marsh Boulevard.

In September, at the request of Delegates Ryan Nawrocki and Kathy Szeliga, the Maryland State Highway Administration completed a review of the intersection at Bengies Road and Eastern Boulevard. During the review of the traffic signal, SHA found that the traffic signal detector at Bengies Road was faulty. It has since been repaired. Also, the signal timing was adjusted at Eastern Boulevard and Bengies Road to give more time to left-turning vehicles from Eastern Boulevard to Bengies Road north.

On September 19, the Delegates sent a follow-up letter to SHA requesting that an additional investigation be undertaken further north on Eastern Avenue from the intersection at MD-43 to Carroll Island Road.

In their September letter, the Delegates shared, “We recently visited Alice’s Restaurant, 2909 Eastern Boulevard, and the owner shared with us that her business sign has been struck by a vehicle twice in the past twelve months. She is very concerned about the speed and dangerous driving in that corridor.”

This week, Delegates Nawrocki and Szeliga told SHA about the recent tragic fatality and discussed the impending traffic report that should be finalized shortly.

“We have asked the Maryland State Highway Administration to review the safety of this corridor again and to hold a community meeting to hear concerns from the public,” Delegate Nawrocki said.

“Safety must be our top priority,” added Delegate Szeliga. “We are listening to the community.”

“We are all committed to a safer Eastern Avenue for everyone,” added Senator Jennings.

In November, Councilman David Marks initiated the largest review of land in eastern Baltimore County to preserve open space and determine whether new development is compatible with existing communities.

Several issues are located along Eastern Avenue, including a 17-acre undeveloped parcel at Stevens Road.

“Our office is looking to apply the Neighborhood Commons zoning to more than 3,000 acres of land to preserve it as open space, and to possibly lower the development intensity on another 2,000 acres,” Councilman Marks commented. “Less development on Eastern Avenue will lead to less traffic.”

Finally, the legislators are all represented on a task force that is examining the overall safety and appearance of Eastern Avenue. The eleven-member group will begin meeting in January.

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