Solomons Couple Killed in Motor Vehicle Crash

March 13, 2018

On Monday, March 12, 2018 at approximately 1:05 p.m. members of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Bureau and Crash Reconstruction Team were dispatched to Solomons Island Road (MD Route 2) and C. Jones Road for a motor vehicle collision.

The preliminary investigation of the collision revealed a 2008 Ford Ranger was stopped in the northbound lane of MD Route 2 waiting to make a left turn onto C. Jones Road.

Richard Williams, 61, of Sunderland, was identified as the driver of the Ford.  A 2016 Lexus E300 was stopped in the northbound lane of MD Route 2 behind the Ford. Joan Kocen, 69, of Solomons, was the driver of the Lexus.  Elliot Kocen, 82, of Solomons, was a passenger in the Lexus.  A 1999 Mack Dump Truck, fully loaded with gravel, was traveling northbound on MD Route 2.  Tristan Matteson, 21 of Prince Frederick, was driving the Mack.  A 2016 International Stake Body Truck was traveling southbound on MD Route 2.  Jerone Harper, 26, of Laurel, was the driver of the International.

As the Mack approached the intersection of C. Jones Road Matteson advised he observed the vehicles ahead stopped in the traffic lane.  He attempted to swerve around the vehicles. This attempt was unsuccessful and the Mack struck the rear passenger side of the Lexus.  The collision pushed the Lexus forward and to the left.  The Lexus clipped the rear of the Ford and continued traveling into the southbound lane of MD Route 2.  The Lexus was then struck by the International as it was traveling southbound on MD Route 2.

Joan Kocen was transported to Calvert Hospital where she died due to her injuries from the collision. Elliot Kocen was pronounced deceased on the scene. All other drivers involved in the crash refused medical treatment.

Preliminary Investigation shows that Matteson’s Failure to Control Speed to Avoid a Collision contributed to this crash.

The collision is under investigation by Sgt. T. Phelps of the Crash Reconstruction Team.  Anyone with additional information regarding the collision is asked to contact the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office at 410-535-2800 or e-mail the investigator at thomas.phelps@calvertcountymd.gov .

49 Responses to Solomons Couple Killed in Motor Vehicle Crash

  1. BooBerry on March 12, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    It was a matter of time. So sad for the couple.
    These idiots drive dump trucks like they are driving a sports car. Idiot said “I attempted to swerve around them”
    Rest in piece

    • werwe on March 13, 2018 at 7:55 am

      piece? Hope that wasn’t intentional

      • Frankenberry on March 13, 2018 at 11:30 am

        I think they meant Rest in Peece… lol

        • Anonymous on March 16, 2018 at 6:49 pm

          Peace****

    • Grizz on March 13, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      You wanna know something you dumbass?! He is not an idiot. He knows what he’s doing when he’s out on that road just as anyone else does. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT! THAT’S IT!

      • Anonymous on March 14, 2018 at 9:44 am

        If he knew what he was doing, he wouldn’t have been going so fast in such a large vehicle. Spin it any way you want, but his carelessness and recklessness killed 2 people!

  2. Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 4:22 am

    Prayers for all

  3. Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 4:22 am

    Prayers for all

  4. James cope on March 13, 2018 at 7:16 am

    How many more fatal accidents til the speed is reduced? Should be a school zone with Sunderland ES right there and all the businesses. Or at least drop the speed limit if you don’t want another light.

    • Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 7:24 am

      It’s cute you think reducing the speed limit will stop people from speeding.

      • Boner Stabone on March 13, 2018 at 8:12 am

        Its the same reason that people think banning guns will stop people from committing murder (as if murder isnt illegal)…

      • AliceW on March 13, 2018 at 8:43 am

        Talk to anyone in the county road department, they will agree with you but you will have to wait till they stop laughing. We have a street in St Marys county that is 35 and 80% of the drivers are 40 over on it and the police wont fix the problem. Hope the police checked the gravel truck drivers cell phone, if he didn’t have one check all the bushes in the area.

        • Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 3:52 pm

          …80% of the drivers are going 75mph! in a 35mph zone? I find that hard to believe… and I believe a lot of stuff.

          • Anonymous on March 14, 2018 at 9:40 am

            And where did you read someone comment about going 75mph in a 35mph?

      • Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 10:23 am

        Must be a liberal

    • What does the Law say on March 13, 2018 at 8:01 am

      First and foremost my condolences to the family and friends that have lost their loved ones. This accident was totally preventable according to this article. If the driver of the dump truck had maintained proper control, i.e. speed and distance.

      A statement was made: “Should be a school zone with Sunderland ES right there and all the businesses.”. Well what does the law actually state? According to the 2010 Maryland Code, Transportation Title 21 – Vehicle Laws – Rules of the Road, Subtitle 8 – Speed Restrictions, Section 21-803.1 – School zones. “(1) Subject to subsection (f) of this section, within a half-mile radius of any school, the State Highway Administration or a local authority:”.

      With that being stated. My question is the inter-section where the accident happened is it located within a half-mile radius of the school? I ask because I do not know. If it is then the State Highway Administration or the local authority needs to put up the School Zone signs. If the inter-section is outside of the half-mile radius then the county government or local authority needs to reduce the speed limit.

      Please remember that school zones are temporary restrictions, it’s not all day, seven days a week, 365 (24/7/365) days a year. School zones are only enforceable during a few hours a day, i.e. an hour before school starts, an hour after school is dismissal, and only when school is in session. If there is no school then law enforcement cannot enforce school zone restrictions. Additionally, just having business located in the area does not necessarily dictate speed limits. The local authority would need to get involved and make the determination to reduce the speed limit in that area.

      • Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 3:26 pm

        To answer your question about the 1/2 mile radius of the school yes it is

  5. Sandy on March 13, 2018 at 7:40 am

    This is such a dangerous turn. I cringe every time I am stopped her waiting to turn like this poor peoeplecwrre. 99% of the time people behind me don’t even seem to slow down. They just swish right by me attempting to pass me on the right. The same this dump truck did. Elementary school children (my children) travel this road and this same interception each and every day. This is horrible! Imagine if that had been one of our school busses instead……..

  6. Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Two wonderful people had there lives wiped out by a young driver in a loaded dump truck driving recklessly.

  7. Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 7:58 am

    Two wonderful people had there lives wiped out by a young driver in a loaded dump truck driving recklessly.

  8. Capt Kirk on March 13, 2018 at 8:13 am

    At least it doesnt appear to be one of those fatal accidents caused by a drunk illegal, err, I mean, undocumented migrant.

    • Megster on March 14, 2018 at 4:54 pm

      As if a fatal accident caused by a drunk US national is somehow better. You’re just dumb.

  9. Lisa k on March 13, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Joannie gave me a ride from Calvert hospital after I was bitten by a copperhead. She was there for me and my family while my dad fought cancer. May she and her husband RIP. So terribly sad.

    • Marietta on March 14, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      I knew Joan and Elliot for over 25 years. We lived 1 mile from them when they owned Rousby Hall. Too many fabulous memories to count. I am just devastated and angry to learn just how dangerous the intersection of the accident is and has been. And believe the dump truck driver was going too fast with that heavy load of gravel. Hopefully he will face some serious charges. RIP Joan and Elliot.

  10. Bonnie Dean on March 13, 2018 at 9:50 am

    This is just heartbreaking. I believe that the speed limit should be lowered. While it is true that it won’t prevent everyone from speeding (I live on Mt. Harmony Road right across from one school and down the road from another and so many people ignore the posted speed limit for the school zones) but if it slows even one person down, that could be the one that might have caused a reckless accident, so if it stops even one collision then it is worth it!

  11. Bill on March 13, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Whats funny is that speed isnt the issue so much as not paying attention. If he had been paying attention, he would have slowed down. But he didnt pay attention until too late.

  12. Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 10:04 am

    The young man driving the dump truck happens to be related to me. First let me say that I am deeply sorry for the loss of these 2 amazing peoples lives. From what I read they have been a BIG part of our community for some time and they will greatly be missed. But with that being said Tristan is a good man and dedicates him self to his job and his family. It is important to not jump to conclusions and belittle people you don’t know. This is a PRELIMINARY investigation. Don’t look at his age and automatically assume he is at fault, or determine that he is a reckless driver. Have you ever driven a dump truck before? Most of you not. I was raised in the life of a commercial driver and it is not as easy as you think. I’m sure this is going to start a battle and honestly I hope not! IM A REALIST and I try to think the whole situation through. it truly is devastating to loose the Kocen’s BUT THIS WAS AN ACCIDENT – ACCIDENT BEING THE KEY WORD. We as a community do NOT KNOW THE FACTS. So please say a prayer for ALL INVOLVED, please don’t judge he may be young but that doesn’t make him a bad person – he has achieved his dream to become a truck driver he worked hard to get where he is and now this a serious tragedy he absolutely doesn’t deserve to be trashed by his community especially when you have know idea who he is or anything about him.

    • Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      I will hold my judgments until the investigation comes out but unless there was an equipment failure or medical emergency, chances are, this could have been avoided. Trucks have to follow the same laws as the rest of us and traveling a safe distance and speed is the responsibility of the driver. If he attempted to swerve and was unsuccessful he was not traveling a safe speed for a road where there could be turning vehicles or he was distracted in some way. His age comes into play when you are considering experience. We are all much more experienced drivers at 40 then we were at 21. The investigation will tell all, the speed of the truck, why he had to swerve last minute, if he was distracted by something, etc… If he is liable he needs to man up to his actions and responsibilities even if that means jail. If it truly wasn’t avoidable I hope everyone can heal from this and move on. Unfortunately, in my experience, most accidents are avoidable and due to one parties negligence.

    • Retta on March 13, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      First and foremost my deepest condolences for the loss of this couple. May they rest in peace and may their friends and family find peace and healing with God’s grace and mercy. That being said I know several truck drivers and not one of them has ever gone without complaining about how drivers in cars either go around them and cut them off, slamming on their brakes not caring that they can’t stop those trucks like you stop a car, or people pull in front of them to cross the road because they don’t want to wait. Why were the cars sitting in the middle of the road? I haven’t seen that addressed yet. I do not live over that way anymore but driving 101 is yield the right away. If it’s a bad Corner as I’ve read in the previous comments, and the people were crossing the road and something happened to their car, going a few miles over the speed limit was not going to avoid the accident. And for the record there’s not one person out here that doesn’t do at least 5 miles over the speed limit which is speeding. The news twist things up and around without giving the whole story so now this gentleman who was driving the truck gets a bad name. Let’s make it clear dump trucks carrying 50,000 pounds of product and have to slam on their brakes can not stop like you want them to or like you think they should.

      • Anonymous on March 14, 2018 at 9:43 am

        Well Said!!

    • Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      Tristan is one hell of a guy, I’ve known him for a long time. Tristan if you see this, keep your head up.

    • Parent on March 13, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      I can understand your view since the truck driver is related. However, most of the important facts are known. Fact is the driver has only 5 years MAX of driving experience, assuming he started driving right at 16. Out of those 5 years, how many years of experience driving a dump truck? You have to be 18 to get your CDL, so he has a MAX of 3 years driving trucks. I agree with Bill’s comment that the core issue was the dump truck driver simply was not paying attention for a brief moment. The facts are that the driver was not impaired, it was daylight at 1 pm, there was no snow or ice. Would the truck driver admit that he glanced down briefly to look at his phone, or adjust the radio? How many of us when sitting at a light look down at our phones for a moment, then look up and the car in front took off. We looked down for only a moment though. Good people make mistakes. In this case, the mistake cost 2 people their lives. A professional driver should not make mistakes like this.

    • Gary on March 13, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      I know Tristan, and you’re right. He’s a good guy.

    • Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      thank you!

    • Anonomous on March 13, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      He is a great guy

    • FGray on March 13, 2018 at 6:03 pm

      I don’t know him so I won’t question if he’s a good/bad person. According to the article he saw the vehicles stopped. Was he traveling to fast, did the brakes fail, was his reaction just slow? Only he knows. A few feet behind this accident is a traffic light, which should have reduced his speed anyway before reaching the two cars.

      Hopefully he will continue to live his dream, but be more vigilant in his driving.

      Prayers for all involved in this tragedy.

    • Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      Blah Blah Blah and here comes the family like always. Here we have it all.
      “he dindu nuffin”
      “you don’t know him”
      “don’t judge him”
      “it was an accident”

    • Megster on March 14, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      Assuming the driver had eyes and was using them, this was preventable.

    • Nancy Armstrong on March 14, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      Well said.

  13. Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 10:31 am

    With Sunderland elementary on C Jones road I’m surprised there isnt a left turn lane on route 2

  14. Josefine Schaffer Walters on March 13, 2018 at 11:04 am

    You will be missed dearly . You were my swim partner my shopping partner and my neighbor for a long time.

  15. Economist on March 13, 2018 at 11:11 am

    I am so sickened by this. The Kocen were wonderful people and strong community leaders. Their loss is everyone’s loss.

    This event aside, I have had many frightening experiences in the 3 county area involving dump trucks. First, the trucks involved were always speeding significantly. Second they frequently were tailgating, third they were pushing into a traffic line and forcing others to make space. I’ve been pushed unto shoulder lanes. Once I was boxed into a left lane and had to go over 80 to get enough distance to make a long signaled left turn. I’ve been pushed to the left shoulder by an offender “merging” into heavy traffic from a ramp three lanes to the right. It all begins to feel like the Wild West with the “bad guys” riding on many tons of unstoppable horse power. If controlling These vehicles is so hard, why aren’t they all out of control?

  16. Brenda Schaffer on March 13, 2018 at 11:15 am

    You have been very dear friends to my mother and dad . I’m very grateful for the friendship that you provided and watchful eye on them both . Go with speed and have a glass of wine with Carl.

  17. Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 11:16 am

    These were two wonderful, dear people who lost their loves because of total recklessness on the part of the dump truck driver and nothing more.

  18. Anonomous on March 13, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    I am terribly sorry for the loss of life that occurred. I happen to know the young man that was driving the dump truck. That dude is a class act. He does absolutely nothing wrong and hasn’t since I have known him for years. He is my nieces world. An all around great dude. Also the dump truck was loaded with gravel. This is a hard thing to stop with all the extra tonage on it. I also believe in the Bible and what it says to be true AND MATTHEW 7 SAYS WE ARE NOT TO JUDGE PEOPLE!!! Most of you did that. You don’t know him.

    • Anonymous on March 14, 2018 at 7:33 am

      Any experienced truck driver knows that if you are hauling a load you take extra precautions (go slower or leave extra space between you and the car ahead) because you can’t stop as quickly. This is where his young age and lack of experience comes into play. Lastly, you don’t have to be a bad dude to make a bad decision. You only turn into a bad dude when you don’t own up to your mistakes.

  19. Anonymous on March 13, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Let’s be honest and call this what it was. Not an accident but a horrible and avoidable Mistake caused by driving at a speed too high for the conditions in a heavily loaded vehicle that requires extra long stopping distance. A fully loaded truck of that type is comparable to a huge cargo ship that requires miles to turn or stop. Nice people do make mistakes but that doesn’t change the fact that they did or excuse their actions. We hear the same excuse from friends or family members of other people who make terrible mistakes with deadly consequences. A commercial drivers license carries responsibilities as well as privileges. As such the driver must take responsibility for the outcome.

  20. Anonymous on March 14, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Deepest condolences to the family of those who lost their lives! I must say we are in a sad state when people can’t even agree to express their condolences without disrespecting each other in your comments! Reminder two beautiful lives were ended abruptly and that should be more important than us analyzing how this happened!!!!!God help us!

  21. Connie on March 14, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    My prayers to all that were involved and their families.
    Again, another sad story for our community due to human error and poor judgment. We do have a problem with drivers doing the speed limit, reducing speed during poor conditions (weather, traffic, emergency vehicles near, etc.) If we can only enforce the laws, not only by police but by our courts too. Why make rules and laws if we cannot stick to them? There is a reason we posted speed limits and to keep distance from other vehicles. One reason, is what occurred Monday – very sad and could have been prevented. Slow down, pay attention, your vehicle is a machine, a machine that can kill if not operated or maintained properly. If you find you are running late (because it seems we are all in a hurry) get yourself up earlier and start earlier – or just be late. Its not worth someone else’s life, or maybe your own – its not worth it.