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Crash claims man

August 18, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

A Hagerstown man was killed and three of his friends were injured early Sunday when the car in which they were riding crashed into a guardrail on Interstate 81 near Hagerstown.

The front passenger of the car, Bret Michael Crowell, 20, of 17715 Meadowood Drive in Hagerstown, was taken to Washington County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to a press release from Maryland State Police Trooper 1st Class R. Embly Jr.

The driver, Bryan Lee Markell, 20, of Williamsport, and two backseat passengers, Robert David Stotler, 20, and Todd Christopher Wilson, 18, both of Hagerstown, were taken to Washington County Hospital, where they were treated and released, police said.

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None of the men were wearing their seat belts, police said.

The accident occurred at 1:30 a.m. at the interchange between I-81 and Interstate 70 just south of Hagerstown, Embly said in the press release.

The 1993 Ford Escort was traveling northbound on I-81 approaching I-70 when the driver lost control of the vehicle and struck a guardrail that separates I-81 and the collector lanes to I-70, Embly said in the release.

The car then drove between the guardrails. The rear of the vehicle began to rise off the ground and "ride" the guardrail before standing on its nose, doing a half-rotation and landing on its roof between the guardrails, Embly said in the release.

The investigation into the crash is continuing.

The fatality was one of four that occurred over the last three days in the Tri-State area.

Vincent R. Tapper, 67, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., died at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, W.Va., Saturday morning after his pickup truck hit a tree, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department said.

Zachary Marshall Jones, 18, of near Hedgesville, W.Va., died Friday afternoon when he collided head-on with a tractor-trailer while passing another vehicle on W.Va. 9 near Berkeley Springs, W.Va., West Virginia State Police said.

Cindy Lou Bloyer, 45, of Hagerstown, died early Saturday from injuries she received when she was hit by a vehicle while walking along U.S. 40 about 9:30 p.m. Friday, Maryland State Police said.

Witnesses said Tapper's 1997 Ford pickup swerved off Mission Road in front of Mission Tabernacle Church after its side-view mirror was clipped by another pickup that left the scene, Deputy R.L. Fletcher said.

The second pickup was described as tan and was driven by a man, Fletcher said. It had a damaged mirror on the driver's side, he said.

Anyone with information about the pickup is asked to call the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department at 1-304-728-3205.

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