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Two die in Hancock crash

February 09, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

HANCOCK, Md. - A Hancock man and a Warfordsburg, Pa., man died Wednesday after their pickup truck hit the back of a parked drilling rig east of Hancock, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

The front-seat passenger in the 1980 Datsun King Cab pickup, Louis Edgar Merica, 40, of Warfordsburg, died instantly from head and neck injuries, said Deputy Medical Examiner Edward Ditto III.

The driver of the pickup, Calvin Dennis Younker, 45, of 9129 Slabtown Road in Hancock, was flown to Washington County Hospital following the 3:04 p.m. accident. He was pronounced dead in the emergency room within hours after the accident, Ditto said.

Younker died from severe injuries to the chest, said Ditto.

Merica and Younker were not wearing seat belts, deputies said.

Family members of some of the victims were at the scene. They were comforted by a Washington County Sheriff's Department chaplain and several deputies.

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The cause of the accident remained under investigation, said Deputy 1st Class Kenneth Cain Sr., the investigating deputy.

A second passenger, Younker's son, Ezekiel Webster Younker, 18, crawled out of the wreckage and was taken to the hospital, deputies said.

Ezekiel Younker, of 465 Harmonia Road in Warfordsburg, was listed in good condition at the hospital on Wednesday night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The younger Younker was in the pickup's rear seat, which is sideways, deputies said.

The southbound pickup hit from behind a well drilling truck belonging to C.A. Burcker of Greencastle, Pa. The drilling rig was parked partially on the shoulder and roadway in front of 13910 Orchard Ridge Road, deputies said. The drilling crew had just finished for the day and was about to leave, deputies said.

The drilling rig, a 1993 Ford, was not in violation of parking laws, Cain said.

After the collision, the pickup was partially under the back of the drilling rig, a vehicle about the size of a tractor trailer that features a large drill, Ditto said.

Staff writer Kimberly Yakowski contributed to this story.

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