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Teen killed in crash was loving and kind

May 01, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A "loving, kind, wonderful boy" was lost when 17-year-old Ricky Lee Crum Jr. died in a car accident Tuesday morning, Crum's grandmother said Wednesday.

"He was a wonderful grandson. He was always there for us," said Emma Kerns, of Charles Town, W.Va. "He'd give you his last penny."

Kerns said she had talked to her grandson a few days before the wreck, when he told her he planned to return to school.

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"The last thing he said to me when he got off the phone was, 'I love you Grandma,'" Kerns said.

A stocky boy, Crum had brown hair and "big blue eyes," Kerns said.

"His personality is what made him stand out. The love in his heart," Kerns said.

Crum died after his car veered across the center line on W.Va. 9 east and collided with a pickup truck. The wreck happened at 10:21 a.m. around a curve on the two-lane road.

Police said they do not know why Crum veered into oncoming traffic.

Kerns said she believes her grandson was returning home after visiting his other grandmother in Kearneysville, W.Va.

Michael Mahr, executive chef at the Clarion Hotel in Shepherdstown, W.Va., said the shock of Crum's death was compounded by the fact that two other Clarion employees died in car wrecks in the past year.

All of the accidents happened on W.Va. 9.

Patrick Loyd, 34, died in March when he hit a car head-on while trying to pass other cars near North Jefferson Elementary School, police said.

Terry Lee Walker Jr., 17, died July 10, 2002, when the Jeep Wrangler in which he was a passenger was hit by a dump truck over the Opequon Creek bridge. Walker had worked in another part of the hotel and was scheduled to begin working in the kitchen. He was killed before his first day, Mahr said.

Crum worked at the hotel's restaurant as a dishwasher, maintenance employee and occasional cook.

Crum could carry on a conversation with just about anybody, especially if it revolved around one of his favorite topics, the Washington Redskins, Mahr said.

"For the most part, I think everybody liked Ricky," Mahr said. "I know that a lot of people here are very upset about it."

Crum, who attended Jefferson High School, worked more than one job, Mahr said.

"He was always trying to stay busy," Mahr said.

A big fan of the Redskins, Crum frequently talked about football.

"He was a good kid," Mahr said.

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