On August 9, 2008, 19-year-old Candy Lynn Baldwin fell asleep at the wheel while crossing the Bay Bridge. Her car veered out of her lane and into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer. The big rig, trying to avoid the accident, swerved, hit another car, and then drove through a barrier and into the Chesapeake Bay thirty feet below. The driver, who was carrying over 20,000 pounds of frozen chicken, died in the crash.
Now Maryland Transportation Authority Police are learning that more than fatigue could have played a part in the accident. Baldwin now says that she went to a wedding reception earlier in the day and also to a bar called the Iguana Cantina later in the evening with a fried. The woman admits to drinking three alcoholic beverages at the reception and at least one more at the club before getting behind the wheel.
By the time her blood alcohol content was taken at four in the morning in the hours after the wreck, it was 0.036 – under the legal limit. Still, Baldwin was charged with violating a license restriction, negligent driving, and failure to stay in her lane. She was charged almost $500 in fines.
Baldwin herself was seriously injured in the car wreck – injuring several of her internal organs and shattering both of her knees. Both women in the car had to be extracted from the vehicle by emergency workers. She fell asleep at the wheel, she says, after a long day and after getting lost on her way home from the club – they left the bar at 2 a.m. and the car and truck accident happened minutes before four in the morning.