25 Year-Old Charged in Fatal 2006 Vehicle Crash - Southern Maryland Headline News

25 Year-Old Charged in Fatal 2006 Vehicle Crash

Police say a then 24-year-old's speeding and inability to control his vehicle caused the death of a 61-year-old Waldorf man

LA PLATA, Md. - The Charles County Sheriff’s Office’s Traffic Operations Unit has charged a Waldorf man with negligent driving and other offenses for his role in the 2006 crash that killed Jemmott Glenaster Harris, 61, of Waldorf.

Michael Lee Payne, now 25, was driving a 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse north on Huntington Circle near Heathcote Road in Waldorf. The Eclipse completely crossed the center line and struck Harris’s 1990 Toyota Corolla head-on. Harris and Payne were both transported to Civista Medical Center, where Harris was pronounced dead a short time later. Payne was treated for minor injuries and released. After completing an autopsy, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the cause of Harris’ death was blunt force trauma to his chest.

Based on vehicle positioning, roadway evidence and witness statements, the Traffic Operations Unit has determined Payne was traveling at a high rate of speed in the 25-mph zone. Investigators cited the speeding and driver error as the causes of the crash. Drugs and alcohol were not factors.

After reconstructing the crash scene, investigators consulted with the State’s Attorney’s Office, which reviewed the evidence and determined which charges would be appropriate. On Jan. 23, the State’s Attorney’s Office advised the Sheriff’s Office to charge Payne with negligent driving, failure to drive right of the center line, traveling at a greater than reasonable speed and failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision.

A criminal summons was issued on Jan. 24 and was served on Jan. 25.

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