A Halethorpe native with family ties to the area was killed on Oct. 24 when the vehicle she was driving was struck by a Bolt Bus and spun out of control on I-95 near Newark, Del., according to Delaware State Police.
Toni Marie Koetzle, 24 years old and almost six months pregnant, wasn't wearing a seatbelt, according to DSP spokesman Cpl. John Day.
According to police, at around 5:30 p.m. Koetzle was driving a 1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the right-hand lane of southbound I-95, approaching the toll booths near Exit 1.
For unknown reasons, Koetzel's vehicle veered across several lanes of traffic and was struck by a southbound Bolt Bus, then flipped several times before coming to a rest on the median, police said.
Delaware Online reported that Koetzle was declared dead at the scene. A passenger in her vehicle, identified as 41-year-old Trae Miller of North East, Md., was flown to a trauma center in critical condition.
According to Bolt Bus spokeswoman Maureen Richmond, nobody on the bus was injured in the crash.
Three southbound lanes and one northbound lane of I-95 were closed for four hours while the wreckage was cleared and police investigated the crash, Delaware Online reported.
Tara Smith, who has been friends with Koetzle since high school, said that Koetzle grew up in the Halethorpe area, where her mother, grandmother and other family members live.
Koetzle moved to Cecil County when she was in the fourth grade, and was most recently residing in Elkton, Smith said.
"She was always going back and forth" between the Elkton area and Halethorpe, Smith said.
Her death shocked Koetzle's close circle of friends and family, who are making burial arrangements and planning to convert her Facebook profile to a memorial, according to Smith.
Days after the crash, Smith struggled to make sense of the tragedy while at work at a North East salon.
"I don't know what happened. Toni always puts her seatbelt on," Smith said. "Her stomach was so big. I don't know, maybe she left it off."