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Maryland State Police News Release

Fatal Howard County Pedestrian Crash Claims The Life Of A Highway Worker

(Marriottsville, MD) – Maryland State Police troopers are investigating the cause of a fatal pedestrian crash in Howard County that took the life of a 38-year-old AAA worker on the side of the road.

The deceased is identified as Muhammad Shehzad, age 38, of Ellicott City. Shehzad was pronounced deceased at the scene by EMS personnel. Shehzad was a contractor for AAA, changing a tire for a motorist when police believe he was struck and killed by a passing vehicle.

Shortly before 11:30 a.m. today, troopers at the Waterloo Barrack were dispatched to the area of eastbound I-70, east of Marriottsville Road (Exit 83) for a crash. Responding troopers found two vehicles, a black Mercedes Benz ML350 and a white Chevrolet Express van, later identified as a AAA road service vehicle, parked on the right shoulder of the highway.  A third vehicle, a black Chevrolet Colorado was located approximately 100 feet off of the right side of the roadway in a wooded area. 

The preliminary investigation indicates Shehzad, later identified as the driver of the AAA road service vehicle was changing a tire on the rear driver’s side of the black Mercedes. As he was walking back to his vehicle, investigators believe he was struck by the Chevrolet Colorado.

Shezhad was wearing reflective clothing while he was working on the side of the road. His hazard lamps and emergency vehicle lights were also activated at the time of the incident.

Investigators believe the Chevrolet Colorado crossed over the white edge line and into the shoulder portion of the highway when he struck the AAA vehicle and Shehzad.  The Colorado continued to travel off of the right side of the highway, up and over an embankment and into a tree where the vehicle came to rest.

The driver of the Chevrolet Colorado is identified as Peter Blakemore, 77, of Front Royal Virginia. More was transported to the R Adams Shock Trauma Center by ambulance. He was the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle. Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.

All lanes of eastbound I-70 were closed to facilitate the subsequent investigation.  The Maryland State Police Crash Team responded to conduct the investigation.  MDOT State Highway Administration personnel responded to establish a detour around the area.

 “We are saddened to learn of the tragic loss of our contracted AAA tow truck driver, Muhammad Shehzad, who was on the side of the road doing his job changing a member’s tire,” said Richard G. Towner, Jr., Vice President, Roadside Assistance & Approved Auto Repair, AAA Club Alliance. “Our hearts go out to his family and others in the towing community who help people every day.  We are grateful for Muhammad Shehzad’s service as a first responder.  His tragic death highlights the dangers roadside workers face daily. As drivers, we all need an awareness of those working on the side of the road and act to create a safe space for them by moving over a lane —when we safely can –to prevent possible tragedies.”

The cause of the crash has not been determined at this time.  Nothing has been ruled out as a cause or contributing factor.  All possibilities are being considered.   


 CONTACT:    Office of Media Communications,;

Ragina Ali, AAA Mid-Atlantic, 443-465-5020