Memorial Day wreck victim remembered

May 28, 1997


Staff Writer

GAPLAND - Donna Coulter placed a small cross along the side of Md. 67 Tuesday to mark David Harrison Sands' death and then hurried to Washington County Hospital to be with her sister.

Sands, 47, died shortly after a Jeep Wrangler struck the Toyota pickup truck he was driving at about 5:30 p.m. on Monday. His girlfriend, Susan Kim Sigler, 35, of Knoxville, was in fair condition Tuesday night.

The driver of the Jeep, John Paul Pencola, 18, of Gapland Road, was in serious condition at Washington County Hospital Tuesday night.


His brother and passenger, James Andrew Pencola, 14, was flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He was in critical condition Tuesday morning, but a hospital spokeswoman would not say if his condition had changed Tuesday night.

Coulter said Sands and her sister were on their way to see the Kentucky HeadHunters perform at the Great Boonsboro Carnival when the accident occurred. Coulter said her sister's prognosis looks good, but she added that she is "not over the shock yet of losing Dave." Coulter said.

"Last night was a terrible night. She kept hollering out."

The cross, which is about 21/2 feet high, is made of daisies with a big, blue ribbon in the center, she said. It was placed on an easel off the side of the road just north of Gapland Road where the truck slid off the road.

"Blue was one of his favorite colors," she added.

The inscription says: "In loving memory of David Sands."

Coulter said her sister has a fractured skull and a lot of swelling. While those wounds will take some time to heal, she said her emotional pain will last longer.

"She's just really broken-hearted about what happened to Dave," Coulter said. "We still can't believe it."

Coulter said she had grown to like and respect Sands in the eight months she had known him. A father of three children, she said he was planning to move to the Yarrowsburg area to be with Sigler.

"He was a very kind, gentle fellow," she said.

Coulter said the past few months had been an emotional roller coaster for Sands. His mother passed away about two months ago and he recently bought a wedding dress for his daughter's coming wedding, she said.

Coulter said she also wrote a tribute to him that concludes: "He will always be a keeper of the stars," a reference to one of his favorite country music songs.

According to Maryland State Police, the Wrangler crossed over the center line and struck the pickup truck head-on. Seat belts were not used in either vehicle, police said.

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