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Md. highway worker killed in hit-and-run ignored protocols, authorities say

Authorities investigating the death of a highway worker killed by a hit-and-run driver on Route 50 in Anne Arundel County early Thursday say the contract employee was violating protocols that might have saved his life.

Normally when the contracting company that deploys devices that track traffic volume plans to work on their equipment they e-mail the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) in advance and either a state vehicle with flashing lights or a state police patrol car with flashing lights is dispatched to alert approaching drivers of the work zone, according to David Buck of the SHA.

In this instance, Buck said, the state received no prior notification and the man was working alone on a dark stretch of Route 50 eastbound between Route 2 and Baydale Drive.

His vehicle was parked on the right shoulder, and he was struck in the left lane of three, Buck said. It was not clear whether he was laying down or taking up the slender rubber tubes that are put across all lanes and connected to a counter box that normally is chained to the guard rail.

The victim, 52-year-old Ghassen Sabra, of Goldsboro, N.C., was wearing reflective clothing, Buck said. Investigators believe Sabra was hit twice, first by an unknown vehicle, which sent him into an adjacent lane, and then by a tractor-trailer. The tractor-trailer driver was not charged.

Ambulance personnel, who happened almost immediately upon the accident, tried to administer care but the victim was dead, police said. Police are asking for information from any motorists who were in the area of eastbound Route 50 and Bay Dale Drive between 12:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m.

Maryland State Police should be contacted at 410-761-5130. Calls may be kept confidential.

This item has been updated since it was first published.

-- Mike McPhate and Ashley Hasley III

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 3, 2010; 1:23 PM ET
Categories:  Anne Arundel , Traffic Accidents  
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