(DENTON, MD) – Maryland State Police are continuing to investigate a multi-vehicle crash in Caroline County Thanksgiving evening that took the life of a child.

Just after 6:30 p.m. on November 26, 2020, troopers from the Easton Barrack responded to the area of Rt. 404 and Rt. 480 near Denton, for the report of a crash involving multiple vehicles. Responding troopers found three vehicles were involved and requested the assistance of the Maryland State Police Crash Team.

The preliminary investigation indicates three vehicles were westbound on Rt. 404 approaching a red traffic signal.  Two of the vehicles were slowing for the red light.  As the third vehicle, a 2010 Honda Accord driven by Arthur W. Callaghna, 23, of Chester, Md., approached, a passenger in his vehicle said it appeared he was having some type of medical emergency and was not stopping the vehicle.  The passenger reportedly grabbed the steering wheel attempting to avoid a collision, but the Honda struck the rear of a 2018 Ford Fiesta driven by Curtis Fugate, 31, of Port Republic, Md. The force of the impact spun the Ford Fiesta into the side of a 2012 Ford Focus, driven by James Perone, 66, of Lewes, De.

Emergency medical personnel responded to the scene and requested two Maryland State Police helicopters.  A one-year-old child in a child safety seat in the rear of Fugate’s vehicle was transported by Maryland State Police medevac helicopter to Johns Hopkins Hospital.  The child, identified as Loretta Fugate, 1, passed away at the hospital the next day.

A second Maryland State Police helicopter transported Callaghna to Johns Hopkins Hospital. His condition is unknown at this time.

The cause and contributing circumstances of this crash remain under investigation at this time. Nothing has been ruled out. Charges have not been filed, due to the ongoing investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, the Maryland State Police Crash Team is expected to be consulting with the Caroline County State’s Attorney’s Office regarding charges.

The investigation is continuing.

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