US 15 Fatality

A woman was killed Wednesday in a two-vehicle crash north of Thurmont when a northbound vehicle struck a car turning onto Orndorff Road from southbound U.S. 15.

A Frederick woman died from injuries suffered in a two-car crash that occurred on U.S. 15 near Thurmont, according to Maryland State Police.

Police say Melissa Phelps, 43, was driving a blue Honda Insight north on U.S. 15 just before 1 p.m. Wednesday when it struck a Chevrolet Impala that entered the northbound lanes after it had stopped at the crossover from Orndorff Road, according to a news release.

Phelps’ car struck the front of the Impala, which was driven by Savanna Notto, 18, of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, according to the release.

Police say Phelps lost control of her car, crossed the northbound lanes and ended up in a ditch. Her car then overturned on the driver’s side. She was not wearing a seat belt, according to the release. Phelps died from her injuries, according to the release.

Notto was not injured in the crash, according to the release.

The crash is being investigated by Master Trooper David Greenwood with Maryland State Police.

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(29) comments


Just one of the writers said that the State Police said that they won't stop you unless your cutting in and out, etc....TRUST ME they get behind you and your doing 70 mph your about to get a speeding, whoever said that needs to call them back and say they misunderstood about speeding...Rt15 is a dangerous stretch of highway.....bring on the fixed speed cameras and watch them slow down......ALWAYS use your seatbelt......

Kafir al-Amriki

Jeepers11md This is primarily an engineering issue, not speed per se. That's why you see so many fatalities on 15 and not 70. It's people trying to get across. That's what happened here, combined with inexperience (judgement). They need to eliminate crossovers, period. It's almost always the case in these crashes! The police are out there, as manpower allows. They have a lot of ground to cover, calls for service, and every neighborhood screaming to work traffic there. 15 is just a dangerous road.


I disagree I live near route 15 and travel it daily to work and town and I see so many ignorant driving I have even seen, passing on the left and right just to get one car ahead and there is NO SPEED control people are just doing whatever they want with no concern for safety. Maybe you are one of those speeding idiots that ignore the law then stay off my road that my taxes pay for


If everyone would follow the LAW and do 55mph there would be time to cross over the highway safely but when you have two lanes coming and one passing it is hard to judge, if you read the signs it state 55mph for DANGEROUS AT LEVEL INTERSECTIONS


if you can follow the law and respect others stay off this road


A lot of suppositions being stated here today. I dare say no one making them have any idea of the veracity of their statements. The MSP reconstruction team will sort it out and charge the negligent driver, whoever it was. Having said that, and living very near I will say that, given the terrain and speed limits there is no way this crash could have happened without gross negligence by one driver. Google up "Maryland Boulevard Rule" for a clue.


"Gross negligence", maybe, maybe not. Regardless, the penalty for the offense should not be death. This hybrid expressway/arterial is killing way too many people. Time for the authorities to commit to building it to full expressway standard (no at-grade crossing) from the Potomac to the PA line.


Not needed before the 340 merge. Adding a circle at Basford and Mountville (like they did at 464) will alleviate those crashes. When it goes to four lanes after the merge to the PA line is where they should do what VA is doing with 7 and eliminate the crossings.


Again, there are above grade crossings on 15 from 340 to PA and my guess is that if anything they will just close all the at-grade crossings and force people to drive up to one of the above-grade ones and turn around.


there is no need for an expressway just drive the legal speed limit and enjoy the beautiful country and respect others we did not ask for the commuters to move to the PA area they moved on there own

Kafir al-Amriki

I concur.


My problem is right there where this accident happened the POSTED speed limit states 50mph due to construction fines doubled but yet I have yet to see a law enforcement there to catch those idiots that ignore our signs and safety and do whatever speed they want with no penalty Where are the COPS?


You're absolutely right. I commute that stretch everyday, and I have NEVER seen speed enforcement in the 50 mph construction zone.


so sad for the families loss but I blame the Maryland Government and Frederick County Sherriff's Department and the Maryland State Police for they are letting people do whatever they want on this highway and speeding,, I see it constantly people weaving in and out just to get one car ahead and ignore the speed limit and our safety the police are NOT doing their jobs and protecting our highway. I have asked both the Governor and the Maryland State Police WHAT IS THE LEGAL SPEED LIMIT ON ROUTE 15 and my answer from the Maryland State Police was as long as they are not driving recklessly, they will not pull anyone over for speeding so PA people drive like nuts and us tax paying Maryland Citizens have to put up with this nonsense and risk our lives? When is Maryland going to do something about this? Posted speed is 55mph why make laws if you are not going to enforce them? Why is Maryland letting people do as they want on our roads? Where are the police to monitor our highways? I am surprised there are not more deaths from the ignorant drivers that Maryland allows to travel our roads. Maryland State police told me they do not want to pull anyone over for that disrupts traffic? So my question is why do they have a job? Just the other night a Frederick County Sheriff Deputy passed me on route 15 with no lights on and had to be going 80 mph plus and two cars from PA joined in behind him and cruised too ignoring the law, and our so called great law enforcement just lets people do whatever they want and ignore the law as well or are they above the law?


Something seems off this was my moms best friends and a growing member of family. She always had a seatbelt on while driving on in park. I don’t believe she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.One if the safest drivers out there. The person who hit her vehicle should be charged with vehicular manslaughter.This breaks my heart💔💔😭


So screw somebody else's life completely up because you weren't wearing your seatbelt? Seems legit.


and I guarantee the other person wasn't going the POSTED 50MPH speed as posted either, as someone that also has to cross over route 15 it is hard to judge when you have idiots driving too fast it is hard to judge if everyone was to obey the law we all would get along fine, I report ignorant commercial drivers and I wish everyone would to their companies since our law enforcement doesn't care


Jeepers; the deceased hit the FRONT of the car crossing so that means the person crossing was not even close to judging correctly. More likely she did not look closely enough.


Immaterial. "Highways and Interstates --If you are attempting to enter a limited access highway or interstate from the entrance ramp, you should yield the right of way to other vehicles already traveling on the highway." If you can't judge the speed adequately then remain until there is a clear break in traffic.


Don’t cars sternly tell the driver to buckle up?


Nope. 18-year-old at fault.Driver hit front of car pulling out into traffic. It is plain-letter law: Highways and Interstates -- If you are attempting to enter a limited access highway or interstate from the entrance ramp, you should yield the right of way to other vehicles already traveling on the highway.

She did not do that and someone is dead. i am sure the estate, once the lawsuit is filed, will have to accept partial responsibility (MD Civil Law) nd will lessen the eventual settlement.


That spot has no 'on ramp'. I agree with what youre saying...i just wanted to help you visualize that spot...its a straight cross the highway pull on that is what makes 15 awfully dangerous. Its a shame people are on here arguing that this women was speeding when she is dead... This highway is known for being dangerous because of those crosses..not speeders. This highway is actually one of the most dangerous on the east coast- not because of speed, but those crossways.

Comment deleted.

When you are older and live with more guilt over things fully and partly your responsibility you will understand why it is better not to assume anything or to wish ill. Ill comes, wished or not.


People often unbuckle in order to have better opportunity to reach for something or maybe get something out of pocket. Maybe this is what happened here. Of course, you still need to keep eyes on the road (front, side, and back) when doing this. Regardless, so sorry for your loss.


So tragic. This very busy road needs to have entrance and exit ramps.


But the visibility is good. There is no reason that anyone should pull across that road without seeing someone. But before those cross-roads get ramps they will just be blocked so no one can cross.


Exit and entrance ramps are helpful but many accidents occur when drivers are crossing Rt. 15. So tragic, I agree.


I disagree Maryland needs to punish ignorant drivers they allow to travel our roads and make them pay, route 15 is posted 55 mph and either Maryland needs to increase the speed limit to 65 and ENFORCE it or get their act together and post the correct speed limit


Why is the innocent ones always killed

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