- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A 20-year-old Fort Washington man and a 31-year-old Waldorf man are dead after two traffic incidents within 24 hours in Charles County.
Fort Washington resident Carlin Denard Biles died Monday evening after his car hit a Maryland Transit Administration commuter bus on Mattawoman Beantown Road in Waldorf; Steven Alan Belkov Jr. of Waldorf died Sunday evening after he was struck by an SUV while trying to cross U.S. 301 at its intersection with Oriole Way in La Plata.
Biles was heading north in a 2012 Ford Focus at about 6:15 p.m., and was just south of Chaney Place at the park-and-ride lot when the bus, driven by Anthony Ricardo Fairchild, 46, of Glenarden, pulled into the road preparing to head south into St. Mary’s County, according to reports from the Maryland State Police La Plata barrack.
The bus was operated by Dillon’s Bus Service of Hanover.
An MSP news release states that the cause of the accident was Fairchild’s failure to yield the right of way to Biles’ car.
Ron Dillon, one of the owners of the company, reached on his cellphone Tuesday on his way to work, said he didn’t have any information on the accident right away.
“I was out of town yesterday. I’m going to need some time to get information for you,” he said. He acknowledged that news of the accident was a shock and expressed concern for Biles’ family.
“I have children,” he said. “This hurts bad.”
Biles was taken by ambulance to Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton, and then to Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., where he was pronounced dead, according to the MSP release.
Fairchild was taken to Southern Maryland Hospital Center, where he was being treated for injuries that weren’t life-threatening, police reported.
Terry Owens, the chief public information officer for MTA, said that since Dillon’s is the contractor and actually employed Fairchild, any discipline aside from possible criminal charges would have to come from the company.
Owens said MTA would perform “a review of this incident,” but that any MTA action would await the resolution of the MSP investigation.
Dillon said in another cellphone conversation Tuesday afternoon that Fairchild “has been an excellent employee” since he was hired, when Dillon won the contract for the Southern Maryland commuter bus routes two years ago.
He said Dillon Bus Service safety department employees are cooperating with the MSP investigation, and maintenance department employees are helping police with the inspection of the bus.
The bus, a 2007 Motor Coach Industries vehicle, was carrying “about 10” passengers, none of whom was injured, Owens said.
Owens said, “Serious accidents are rare on commuter buses,” and added that Biles’ death was the first fatal accident since 2009 involving a bus running an MTA commuter route, and “only the second in four years.” Owens didn’t have details on the other fatality.
A motorcyclist collided with an empty Keller Co. charter bus on Leonardtown road in Hughesville in July 2008 and died of his injuries.
Struck pedestrian not at U.S. 301 crosswalk
Belkov was crossing U.S. 301 away from a crosswalk from the median when he was hit at 7:53 p.m. by a black 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe being driven by Nelson Lara Jr., 27, of Waldorf, according to a report from the MSP.
Belkov was taken to Civista Medical Center in La Plata, where he was pronounced dead, the report states.
Neither Lara nor his front-seat passenger, James Thomas Abell Jr., 25, of La Plata, was injured in the accident, according to the report.
It could not be determined by the time of the report's release whether alcohol was a factor in the accident, the report states.