Victims In Tuesday Morning's Washington Co. MD Crash Identified

(HANCOCK, MD) – After the notification of families has been completed, Maryland State Police are releasing the identifications of those involved in a crash that happened early Tuesday morning on I-70 in western Washington County.

Three people in two vehicles were involved in the crash, two of whom were fatally injured. The deceased are identified as James L. Benge Jr., 22, of Fruitland, Md. and Mohamud S. Ali, 35, of Eagan, Minnesota. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

Injured in the crash was Kim L. Benge, 57, of Fruitland, Md. She was transported to Meritus Medical Center and later transferred to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.

Kim Benge was the driver of a 2007 Kia Rio and her son, James Benge, Jr., was the front seat passenger. Mohamud Ali was driving a 2011 Freightliner truck tractor pulling a 2016 Vanguard trailer loaded with grapes.

The preliminary investigation by the Maryland State Police Crash Team indicates the Kia Rio was being driven westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-70. The tractor trailer was eastbound in the eastbound lanes and was struck by the passenger car. After impact with the car, the tractor trailer struck bridge abutments.

Debris from the crash covered a large area and the tractor trailer blocked the entire roadway portion of eastbound I-70. Troopers were required to close the eastbound interstate to conduct the investigation and cleanup. State Highway Administration personnel responded and detoured eastbound traffic onto Rt. 522 through Hancock.

No charges have been filed at this time. Upon completion, the investigation will be forwarded to the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office for review. The investigation is continuing.


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