Man killed in crash was avid hiker, traveler

February 10, 2003|by STACEY DANZUSO

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - A Mercersburg, Pa., man who had traveled the world and hiked the Appalachian Trail died following a car accident Thursday evening in Antrim Township, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Jay Smith, 84, was taken to Chambersburg Hospital following the accident and died from his injuries early Friday, according to police and Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey Conner.

Smith, of 9881 Blue Spring Road, was eastbound on Buchanan Trail West in a 2001 Volkswagen at 6:30 p.m. when he attempted to turn left into a parking lot, police said. He failed to see a westbound 1992 Honda driven by Kylie S. Dangler, and the vehicles collided, police said.

Dangler, 19, of Greencastle, suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from Waynesboro (Pa.) Hospital, police said.

A passenger in her vehicle, William Harrison, 23, of Fort Loudon, Pa., was treated at Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown for moderate injuries and released, police said.


Smith was born in Memphis, Tenn., and later worked as a stockbroker in California, said Pat McPeake, his sister-in-law.

After retiring early, he hiked the Appalachian Trail from end to end and canoed the length of the Mississippi River, McPeake said.

"He was a wonderful human being, and we're all going to miss him terribly," she said.

Smith and his wife, Ellen McPeake Smith, moved to Mercersburg, Pa., in 1979. He became active in the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, and in June was elected Republican commiteeperson for the Fourth District, Montgomery Township, after writing himself on the ballot for the uncontested seat, McPeake said.

His most recent travels included a trip to Ireland.

Smith was also an avid reader, gardener, storyteller and poker player.

"He would always take our money," McPeake said.

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