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Crash victim walked for his health

June 23, 1997

By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

Staff Writer

Boonsboro resident Harry Rommeney was on his way home from walking at a mall when he was involved in a fatal accident at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Beaver Creek Road on Saturday afternoon, relatives said.

Rommeney, 66, of 9355 Childacrest Drive, had gone to the Valley Mall because it was too hot to walk outside, said nephew William Patrey, with whom Rommeney had lived for the past 20 years.

Regular walks had become of Rommeney's life since he had bypass surgery earlier this year, said Patrey, who said his uncle also had quit smoking and changed his diet in his recovery effort.

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"He was doing all the right things," he said.

The accident happened at about 2:30 p.m., according to Maryland State Police.

Rommeney's 1990 Subaru Justy was turning left onto Beaver Creek Road from eastbound U.S. 40 when it was struck by a 1991 Justy driven by Sharron Louise McErlain of 9304 Stottlemeyer Road, Boonsboro, police said.

The impact pushed Rommeney's car into a head-on collision with a westbound Ravenswood Lutheran Village bus in which driver Betty Louise Siles was transporting 10 residents, police said.

Police would not identify the residents but said nine of the 11 people in the bus were taken to Washington County Hospital and the remaining two were taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital.

All 11 people were treated and released, police said Sunday.

McErlain was taken to Washington County Hospital, where she was treated and released, an emergency room nurse confirmed Sunday.

The accident is still being investigated, police said. No charges had been filed as of Sunday.

Rommeney's health problems had forced him to retire from Food Lion on East Wilson Boulevard, where he had worked as a clerk for about eight years, Patrey said.

Rommeney had served with the U.S. Army in Korea and was retired from Western Union in Jamaica, N.Y., he said.

He moved to Washington County with sister Gloria Baulch, now deceased, and her daughter Susan Patrey's family nine years ago, he said.

Rommeney had lived with the Patreys in Seaford, N.Y., for 11 years before the move, William Patrey said.

Staff Writer Ellen Lyon contributed to this report.

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