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Fire chief in fair condition following Sunday accident

August 20, 2002|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

SHARPSBURG - Just over a day after his car was hit head-on, the condition of the fire chief of the Potomac Valley Volunteer Fire Co. had improved to fair Monday night at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Fire Chief Ronnie Leroy Gray, 52, of 18726 Nick Road, Sharpsburg, was driving a 1988 Plymouth Reliant on Harpers Ferry Road near Hoffmaster Road around 3:30 a.m. when his Reliant was struck head-on by a 2002 Saturn traveling on the wrong side of the road, the Washington County Sheriff's Department said Monday.

Gray's own fire company was one of the first to respond, said Tim Gargana, paramedic supervisor at Sharpsburg Area Emergency Medical Services Inc.

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Assistant Fire Chief Eric Gray - the chief's son - was among those who responded to the call, Gargana said.

A spokesman at the fire hall said Eric Gray was in Baltimore with his father at the hospital Monday night.

"They didn't know it was him until they got there. It was a pretty rough scene" with several people injured, Gargana said. "Then all the sudden, they realized it was their own fire chief."

Gargana was not among the Sharpsburg ambulance personnel at the call, but talked to rescuers who were there.

He said he was told Gray was conscious while rescuers were helping him and that Gray had surgery Sunday for severe fractures.

Gray was flown to Baltimore by Maryland State Police medevac helicopter.

The Saturn's front seat passenger was flown to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md., police said.

Jessica Dale Hamilton, 20, of 9 Hopewell Road, Williamsport, was listed in fair condition Monday night at Suburban Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The driver of the Saturn was Scott Matthew Morris, 21, of 60 St. Paul St., Boonsboro, police said. He was treated at Washington County Hospital and released, police said.

Three back seat passengers in the Saturn also were treated at Washington County Hospital and released, police said.

They are Jerry Lee Poston, 36, of 19040 Sandy Hook Road; Daniel Wesley Nuice, 20, of 19060 Sandy Hook Road; and David Lee Poorman Jr., 20, of 6234 Old National Pike, Boonsboro, police said.

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