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Accident victim fondly recalled

October 28, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

A 50-year-old Hagerstown man who died in a car accident Friday night was a nice man and a good son, friends and relatives said Saturday.

James Hoffman, of the 13000 block of Dixie Drive, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident at Interstate 70 and Md. 63, Maryland State Police said.

A tractor-trailer driven by Dempsey Plump, 47, of Hammond, Ind., was stopped across the southbound lane of Md. 63 after being involved in a minor accident on the ramp from eastbound I-70, police said. The accident happened about 9:45 p.m., police said.

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Hoffman, driving a 1989 GMC Jimmy 4x4, failed to see the truck until just prior to impact, police said. He attempted to brake and skidded into Plump's trailer and was lodged underneath, police said.

Plump was not injured.

Hoffman lived with his mother, Ruth Hoffman, 74.

Hoffman was born in New Jersey but lived in Hagerstown for about 40 years, family friend Marguerite Lipella, said. He graduated from North Hagerstown High School.

When Ruth Hoffman's husband died about 10 years ago, James, her only son, moved in with her.

"He was a good son," she said.

Hoffman would help her whenever possible, his mother said. He mowed the grass, and he recently painted walls at the house.

"He was a good boy. Everybody liked him," she said.

"James was a happy-go-lucky kid," Lipella said. "He was very thoughtful."

Lipella said he helped everyone he could with tasks such as changing a spark plug in a lawnmower.

"He was a very helpful young man," Lipella said.

Hoffman's arm was severed while working on an oil rigger and it had to be reattached, she said.

Hoffman worked part-time at Wal-Mart at The Centre at Hagerstown, she said.

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