Lusby, MD – Over six months after two people riding a motorcycle were killed involving two other vehicles, police in Calvert County have completed their investigation. Their conclusion—no one will be faulted, no one will be charged.
The Thursday evening, Sept. 3 crash at the Route 2/4 – Rousby Hall Road intersection claimed the lives of Conrado Rago Fabricante Jr., 55 of Broomes Island—the operator of the 2001 Harley Davidson; and Lauren Shelby Pitt, 27 of Hollywood, the cycle’s rear passenger.
According to the preliminary report, the motorcycle was traveling north and entered the intersection around 7:40 p.m. “As the motorcycle entered the intersection, a 2009 Jeep Wrangler operated by Joseph James Illar, 57 of Lusby, entered the intersection in an attempt to make a left turn to travel on Rousby Hall Road and collided with the motorcycle. As a result of the collision both the operator and rear passenger were ejected from the motorcycle. After the collision the motorcycle continued traveling west and struck a Mercedes Benz SUV, which was stopped on Rousby Hall Road waiting to turn right onto northbound Route 2/4.”
The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Crash Reconstruction Team (CRT) conducted an investigation into the events that led up to the collision.
According to Sgt. Vladimir Bortchevsky, one of the factors that made the investigation difficult was “conflicting witnesses. We could not have been given more opposing witnesses.” Bortchevsky described both witnesses as credible and both were in ideal position to see what occurred. However, one witness told police the Jeep Wrangler made its turn on a steady green arrow while other claimed the turn was made on a red flashing arrow.
Over the past six months the CRT has conducted over 100 hours of investigation of the accident.
In this particular case none of the drivers involved had been drinking or taking drugs. The case came down to whether either of the operators of the motorcycle or Jeep Wrangler erred in proceeding into the intersection. Bortchevsky said data—broken down in split seconds—from the Jeep Wrangler’s airbag deployment mechanism, “suggests he [driver of the Wrangler] was going on a green light, not a red light. We can’t conclude which one of these drivers was at fault.”
Bortchevsky and Captain Todd Ireland, commander of the sheriff’s office’s Patrol Bureau, told The BayNet that officers have met with the families involved and conducted long meetings to convey the CRT’s findings.
“Even if there was fault found, the State’s Attorney’s Office said it would only be a payable traffic citation,” said Bortchevsky. The officer lamented, “a payable traffic citation isn’t going to bring anybody back.”
Bortchevsky stated that “less than 2 percent” of the accidents the CRT investigates conclude with such a stalemate. “It’s the exception, not the norm,” he said.
Ireland said the sheriff’s office would likely follow up with the Maryland State Highway Administration regarding the intersection, including issues with signal timing.
Contact Marty Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous stories on this incident posted on The BayNet