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Hatem Bridge Case Stands Trial

The Maryland Transportation Authority and a Churchville man are arguing in front of a jury about whether the state was negligent.

A Churchville man whose 12-year-old daughter died in a crash on the Hatem Bridge more than 10 years ago is having his case against the Maryland Transportation Authority heard in Harford County Circuit Court.

Garrett Tollenger is suing the Maryland Transportation Authority for not installing barricades between east and westbound traffic against advice its chief engineer provided in 2000, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Tollenger's daughter died Aug. 10, 2001, after the truck her stepfather was driving westbound on the Hatem Bridge crossed the double yellow line and was struck by a vehicle heading east, according to The Baltimore Sun. The stepfather also died in the crash.

In his complaint, Tellenger cited 12 other crashes, including two that were fatal, in which vehicles crossed over the line on the Hatem Bridge in the 10 years prior to his daughter's death, reported The Daily Record.

The state installed a median wall as part of a major rehabilitation effort between 2008 and 2011, according to Roads & Bridges.

The Maryland Transportation Authority's attorney stated in court this week that the girl's stepfather losing control of the vehicle caused the crash in 2001, not negligence on the part of the state, reported The Baltimore Sun.

Witness testimony in the case resumes Friday in the trial, which is anticipated to last through next week.

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