Driver in deadly City Hall crash freed; no charges filed yet

BALTIMORE - Maryland State Police confirm the driver involved in yesterday's deadly accident outside Baltimore City Hall is free and that no charges have been filed. Sergeant Marc Black with Maryland State Police said he believes the driver, who the agency is not identifying, was released last night.  No charges have been filed in this case. 

The accident that took place outside City Hall occurred around 2pm Tuesday. Longtime Baltimore City employee Matthew Hersl, a pedestrian, was killed. Maryland State Police say he was hit by a driver who failed to negotiate a turn.  

Black says it is not uncommon for there to be a delay in filing charges in cases like this.  He tells ABC2, "We understand the community's frustration and their feelings and we don't want to downplay that by any stretch of the imagination.  The Maryland State Police want to make sure that if this case comes to court that we can successfully prosecute this case and charge that driver with whatever needs to be charged with."

Once the investigation is complete, it will be handed over to the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office.  Spokesman Mark Cheshire says prosecutors have an incomplete picture until the investigation is complete, saying, "It is standard procedure to complete an investigation before making charging decisions."

The chain of events that actually sparked Tuesday's accident started on the southbound JFX.  State Police say the driver of a black Acura was traveling at excessive speeds and came up on Trooper Zachary Mills, who was returning to the Golden Ring barracks.  Police say when the trooper spotted the driver, he put on his rear emergency lights to alert the vehicle and prevent a collision.  Black says the driver abruptly exited at Pleasant Street and the trooper followed.  State Police say the driver ran two red lights before attempting to make the turn at Lexington.

45-year-old Matthew Hersl was taken to Shock Trauma following the accident but later died.  The 43-year-old driver was taken to Mercy Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.  

The State's Attorney's Office couldn't say how long the investigation would take to complete.  State Police couldn't say whether the driver had an active driver's license.


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