The Sun — In the 60 seconds before his tractor-trailer smashed into two vehicles on the Bay Bridge last summer, propelling one into the water below, Gabor Lovasz accelerated from 8 mph to 51 mph. In its final report on the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board attributed the accident to Lovasz’s “inattention” as well as his “unfamiliarity with the area and lack of knowledge that traffic routinely slows on the eastbound span of the bridge.” Lovasz’s truck smashed into a Chrysler Sebring being driven at 4 mph by Morgan Jade Lake, sending her and her car into the bay. The NTSB report released Wednesday caps months of investigation by various agencies into the July 19 accident. It also draws the first link between the accident — which shocked summer vacationers and longtime bridge users — and the Maryland Transportation Authority’s recent announcement that it will spend $500,000 on new bridge safety signs, including warnings that congestion is common and tailgating is prohibited. Lovasz, a Hungarian immigrant living in Canada, was driving alone in the United States for the first time, officials found. He slammed on his brakes but could only slow to 47 mph before hitting Lake’s car, pushing it over a barrier wall and then 27 feet down to the water below. Lake, of Southern Maryland, managed to free herself from her car and reach the surface, then swam to nearby pilings as witnesses watched from the bridge deck.
Good gracious those pictures are frightening. I am absolutely terrified every time I cross the Bay Bridge. Always have been. Voyages across the Bay Bridge, snakes, and car washes were all things that young Banks just could not handle. Those were my 3 bugaboos. And for years I would calm myself down and tell myself “don’t be ridiculous, no car ever goes flying off the Bay Bridge”. And I’d just grab my crayola, bury my nose in the Bay Game*, and pray for the best. Worked everytime.
Well last summer a car finally took the plunge. Turned my world upside down. And now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty on just how easily it happened. No chance I’m driving myself to Ocean City this summer. Just have no interest in having a Hungarian/Canadian immigrant rear-end me into kingdom come. She lucked out only falling 27 feet, that’s not even close to the peak of the bridge. Next person won’t be so lucky, and I refuse to be that person. Call me what you will, but don’t sit here and tell me this video doesn’t give you the willies.
No fucking thanks. If I have to drink myself into a whiskey coma and pay someone to drive me over, I’ll do it. Whatever gets me to Seacrets in one piece. But right now there’s not a chance in hell I’m driving myself across that bridge.
*In all seriousness though, do you Marylanders remember those Bay Game booklets you got from the tollbooth operators? Them shits were dope. Stickers, word finds, crossword puzzles, you name it. And I didn’t forget about you, trash receptacles that looked like gum drops. Need to get my paws on one of those books.