Driver Involved In Crash On Baltimore Beltway Which Killed Six Construction Workers Enters Plea

Sentencing is scheduled for March 28th.

Baltimore, Md (KM) One of the drivers involved in a crash on the Baltimore Beltway in March of last year which killed six construction workers has entered a plea.  Melachi Duane Darnell Brown, 20, of Windsor Mill pleaded guilty on Wednesday to six counts of negligent vehicular manslaughter Sentencing is scheduled for March 28th of this year in Baltimore County Circuit Court.

Assistant State’s Attorney Felise Kelley said she will recommend Brown be sentenced to 60 years in prison with all time suspended except for one-and-a-half years incarceration, along with three years of probation. He must also perform 40 hours of community service.

The sentencing guidelines range from three months in jail to 24 years in prison.

The crash occurred on the afternoon of March 22nd, 2023 when Brown’s vehicle was struck by a car operated by Lisa Adrienne Lea, 55, of Randallstown. Both drivers were traveling over 120 miles per hour before the crash.  The posted speed limit is 55 miles per hour.

Lea’s vehicle spun out, and traveled through a 150-foot opening which separated the work zone. The vehicle overturned several times before fatally striking six highway workers. .

Two of the victims, Carlos Orlando Villatoro Escobar, 43, and Jose Armando Escobar, 42, were from Frederick. Mahlon Simmons III, 31, and Mahlon Simmons II, 52, were from Union Bridge. Rolando Ruiz, 46, was from Laurel, and Sybil Lee DiMaggio, 46, was from Glen Burnie.

Lea was approved for detention. Her trial is scheduled to begin on April 1st.

By Kevin McManus