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Police investigate death of women who fell from truck

September 28, 2000

Police investigate death of women who fell from truck



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI and MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writers


Maryland State Police vehicle inspectors spent Thursday afternoon checking out a tractor-trailer from which a Baltimore woman may have fallen to her death hours earlier.

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Yesenia del Carmen Valencia, 25, was found in cardiac arrest shortly after midnight Thursday on Interstate 70 east of Sharpsburg Pike.

When troopers arrived, they found an emergency medical technician working on the woman. She was taken to Washington County Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 12:46 a.m.

Police said she had injuries that appeared, at least initially, to be consistent with a fall.

At about the same time Valencia was found, a tractor-trailer was seen stopped along the interstate about a mile east of the scene, police said.

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When a trooper went to investigate, the rig had moved on, police said.

Police pulled over the woman's husband, Angel Pacheco, 36, of Baltimore, who was driving a tractor-trailer several miles east of the scene.

Their two children, both under the age of 7, were in the rear sleeping area of the cab at the time of the incident, police said.

The couple's two young sons were taken to the Hagerstown barrack, where they remained until an aunt came to get them, police said.

Pacheco was taken to the Hagerstown barrack for questioning, but had been sent home by early evening, police said. No charges were filed.

"It is undetermined at this time what actions contributed to her death," police said in a press release.

Wehland said Valencia was either in or on the tractor-trailer, which was moving at a slow rate of speed, when she fell to the highway's shoulder.

"Obviously, she got outside the vehicle somehow. We don't know if she was in and got out, or was trying to get in," State Police Det. Sgt. Douglas Wehland said.

Valencia's body was taken to Baltimore for an autopsy, police said.

The tractor-trailer, which was hauling dishes, was headed from Greencastle, Pa., to Baltimore.

Two state police inspectors examining the truck Thursday afternoon said it appeared to be in proper working order.

The doors on both the driver and passenger sides also were functioning properly, they said.

The seating area of the 1986 tractor-trailer is cramped and a large control panel is between the driver and passenger seats.

The passenger side seat is narrow with little room between the seat and the door.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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