Alt. 40 accident kills two

July 07, 2002|by JULIE E. GREENE

Two Washington County residents died early Saturday morning when the car they were in ran off Alt. U.S. 40 south of Hagerstown and hit a tree, Maryland State Police said.

Alcohol and driver's error are believed to be factors in the accident that occurred shortly after 2 a.m. at Cool Hollow Road, according to a press release issued by state police and Washington County Emergency Services. The investigating trooper could not be reached Saturday for further details.

The driver, Frank William Thompson III, 28, of 1535 Crest View Ave., was pronounced dead at the scene, state police said.


Thompson's passenger and girlfriend, Trisha Mohamad, 21, of the same address, was taken by ambulance to Washington County Hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, officials said.

A Maryland State Police medevac helicopter was called to the crash site, but was called back when the patient was declared a "trauma arrest," state police with the medevac unit said.

If rescue personnel start CPR at the scene, they cannot stop until ordered by a doctor, Washington County Forensic Investigator Tom Wetzel said. That could be why Mohamad was declared dead at the hospital, he said.

Thompson and Mohamad both died from massive trauma, Wetzel said. She was thrown from the car and he was partially ejected from the car, Wetzel said.

Their bodies were sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore for autopsies, he said.

Alternate U.S. 40 was closed in both directions for about an hour until the crash site was cleared, Wetzel said.

Thompson was driving a 1986 Honda Accord south on Alt. U.S. 40 when he ran off the road at what is called "Death Curve," Wetzel said. Southbound, the curve is a downhill, S-shaped curve.

"We've always called that 'Death Curve,'" Wetzel said. "There've been so many fatalities there over the years. It's a real bad area."

Thompson's grandmother, Dot Spessard, was familiar with the curve.

"Many a person has gone on that curve," she said.

The couple had just left the Starlite Inn in Funkstown, not far from their Crest View Avenue home near Howell Road, Wetzel said. They were on their way to a friend's house in Boonsboro to shoot pool, said Wetzel and family members.

Shane Thompson said his older brother liked to have a good time, and that included going to the Starlite on Friday and Saturday nights with Mohamad.

He also enjoyed riding dirt bikes and four-wheelers, hunting deer and fishing for catfish, said Shane Thompson, 24, who shared a home with the couple.

"We'd usually go along the river and have a good time," he said.

Thompson attended South Hagerstown High School and, until recently, worked at Conservit Inc., his grandmother said.

"He was just a great boy. He was a wonderful grandson," said Spessard, 67, of Hagerstown.

Thompson, the son of Lisa Thompson and the late Frank Thompson Jr., was "loved by everybody. Just had friends everywhere," said his cousin, Stacey Thompson, 27, of Hagerstown.

Family members said Thompson loved his two young daughters.

Mohamad enjoyed playing with her two nieces and two nephews, family members said.

The couple shared a love of pool.

Mohamad turned 21 last Oct. 29, allowing her to join her mother's 8-ball pool team in the American Pool Association league, which plays at bars, said her mother, Jeanie Mundey.

"She'd say, 'Mom, I'm going to take over and be the captain of your league, your team,'" Mundey said Saturday afternoon at her parents' home on Cedar Ridge Road.

Mohamad was ranked a 3 on an APA scale of 2 to 7, with 7 being a master.

Mohamad's father had not been notified of her death as of mid-Saturday afternoon, said her uncle, Tommy Martin.

The American Red Cross was trying to track down her father, Jack Mohamad, a Merchant Marine in port at Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Martin said. He may have been on shore leave.

Father and daughter spoke on the telephone Friday night, Martin said. Mohamad would often call or send a postcard to his daughter when he got into port, Martin said.

Trisha Mohamad attended Clear Spring High School and earned her GED last year, Mundey said. While her teachers said she wouldn't have to study to pass the test, Mundey said her daughter studied anyway to ensure she would pass.

After tending bar and doing other jobs, Mohamad started working for TruGreen-ChemLawn about a month ago, Mundey said.

Besides playing pool, Mohamad liked to dance, enjoyed drawing pictures of dogs and other animals and liked to color her hair.

Her mother remembers her daughter's plum hair at age 17, her red hair, the bleached blond stage and the time she tried to turn her hair brown and it ended up orange.

"When the mood hit her, she'd want something different," Mundey said.

"She loved life. She could walk into a room be-bopping and put a smile on (your) face," Mundey said.

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