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Girl killed in accident

July 26, 1998

A 5-year-old Sharpsburg girl was killed in a car accident early Sunday when her father apparently fell asleep at the wheel, according to Maryland State Police.

Alcohol was thought to be a factor in the crash, police reports said.

Toni Marie Gonder died at Washington County Hospital, where she was transported after the accident, according to the release. Her father, Tony Paul Wayne Gonder, 28, of Waynesboro, Pa., was treated at the same hospital, where he was being held for observation, the release said.

Tony Gonder was driving north on Sharpsburg Pike just before 6 a.m. when he fell asleep, according to the report. The 1988 Chevrolet Spectrum left the right side of the roadway south of Spielman Road in Fairplay, where it struck an embankment, a concrete culvert, a fence and a telephone pole before coming to a stop, police said.

The telephone pole snapped in half near ground level from the impact, police said. Gonder's daughter was sitting in the front passenger seat, where the vehicle struck the pole, police said.

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The investigation was continuing, police said.

-Sheila Hotchkin

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