Police: Man had medical emergency before deadly crash

COLUMBIA, Md. - The driver in a deadly crash in Columbia may have suffered a medical emergency before the collision, police said.

Fifty-four-year-old Henry Walter Atkins III, of Severna Park was pronounced dead at Howard County Hospital Saturday afternoon.  Police said Atkins was driving a 2005 Ford F-350 pickup truck northeast on Columbia Gateway Drive when he lost control, hit a curb and flipped over around 1:20 p.m. 

Authorities believe Atkins had a medical emergency just before the crash. A Howard County Fire and Rescue Unit driving in the opposite direction at the time of the crash had to swerve to avoid the pickup truck. Emergency workers noticed the driver was slumped over the steering wheel.

It does not appear that speed or alcohol were a factor in this collision, police said.

Columbia Gateway Drive was closed to through traffic in the area until 3:15 p.m. for the investigation and clean-up.

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