Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008

Couple uninjured after crash

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A Rockville couple trapped in their car underneath the tires of a tractor-trailer Friday night were not seriously injured.

The accident snarled traffic for hours on Interstate 270.

At about 6:15 p.m., Sharon Fritzlen, with her husband Jeffrey as a passenger, was driving in the local northbound lane of I-270, just north of the Route 28 interchange in Rockville, when the car was struck by a tractor-trailer driven by Jesus Vanegas of Hyattsville, according to a Maryland State Police press release.

The collision caused the Fritzlens’ 2004 Chrysler Sebring to strike a Jersey wall and spin around in front of the truck. Then the car was struck again by the 1994 Kenworth tractor-trailer, which carried solid waste or trash, said Pete Piringer, spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.

The rear tires of the trailer landed on top of the car, trapping Sharon Fritzlen, 67, in the driver’s seat and her husband, Jeffrey Fritzlen, 66, in the front passenger seat. The roof collapsed on top of the seats, Piringer said.

A large crane was brought in to lift the trailer off the car before they could be extricated, Piringer said.

Rescuers were able to free Jeffrey Fritzlen in about 30 minutes. It took another 30 minutes to free Sharon Fritzlen.

‘‘Miraculously, their injuries were not serious,” Piringer said.

The Fritzlens were taken to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, where they were treated for minor bumps and bruises and released, he said.

The state police investigation into the collision is continuing. No charges were filed by late Monday.