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Press Release

Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter and Driving Under the Influence, Related to a Fatal Crash on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

Greenbelt, Maryland – Samuel Sweeley, age 33, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to federal charges of involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol in connection with a fatal vehicle crash on the Baltimore-Washington (“BW”) Parkway.  

The guilty plea was announced by Erek L. Barron, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland and Chief Jessica M.E. Taylor of the United States Park Police (“USPP”).

According to his guilty plea, at approximately 2:38 a.m. on September 4, 2022, Sweeley was driving his Lexus SUV northbound on the BW Parkway, approaching the ramp to the inner loop of I-495/I-95.  Sweeley got into the exit lane, but did not exit, instead driving onto the shoulder beyond the exit ramp.  Approximately 10 to 15 feet beyond the exit ramp, Sweeley drove his SUV into the rear of an occupied Hyundai Elantra sedan, which was parked on the shoulder with its hazard lights on.

As detailed in the plea agreement, the male driver was pronounced dead at the scene and the female passenger was transported to the hospital.  Sweeley consented to a blood draw and was transported to the hospital by a USPP officer.  Sweeley subsequently declined to allow a blood draw to occur.  The officer noticed that Sweeley had an odor of alcohol emanating from his person and breath, was slurring his speech, and had red, bloodshot, water eyes.  The officer administered field sobriety tests, determined that Sweeley was under the influence of alcohol, and obtained a search warrant for a blood draw from Sweeley.  At 6:48 a.m., approximately four hours after the crash, Sweeley’s blood was drawn and found positive for alcohol at a level of .15 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.

The USPP investigation of the collision determined that the primary causes of the crash were  that Sweeley improperly utilized a parallel deceleration lane, was traveling 80 mph in a posted 55 mph zone, and was driving under the influence at the time of the crash.

Sweeley faces a maximum sentence of eight years in federal prison for involuntary manslaughter and a maximum of six months in prison for driving under the influence.  As part of his plea agreement, Sweeley will be required to pay restitution, including compensation for the loss and/or damages to the victim’s vehicle, as well as the victim’s emergency medical, funeral and burial costs.  U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang has scheduled sentencing for June 18, 2024 at 2:30 p.m.

U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the USPP for its work in the investigation.  Mr. Barron also thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Shabnam Aryana and Joel Crespo, who are prosecuting the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit and

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Updated February 29, 2024