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Cops say racing might have caused crash

September 16, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

FUNKSTOWN - A street race might have caused a Tuesday evening crash on Alt. U.S. 40 that claimed the lives of two men in one of the vehicles, Maryland State Police said Wednesday.

Police said they had little information on a second driver and vehicle possibly involved in the race, but not in the crash.

State police Trooper Andrew Smith said a witness told investigators that two vehicles were racing on eastbound Alt. U.S. 40, between Funkstown and Boonsboro, as they approached an area known locally as "death curve" Tuesday at about 8:12 p.m.

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Smith said it was believed that neither vehicle had its headlights on while they were speeding through the area, side by side.

Smith said that based on skid marks, it appeared that a 1994 Ford Ranger pickup truck was being driven on the shoulder of the road, which was dry at the time of impact, and the other vehicle was beside it in the eastbound lane.

In the death curve area, the pickup truck driver lost control and the truck crossed a double-yellow line near Cool Hollow Road, struck a westbound 2001 Ford Focus on the side, began spinning and then collided head-on with a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer, state police said.

Two residents who live within sight of the crash scene said Tuesday that the crash sounded like an explosion.

The passenger in the pickup truck, Bryan Michael Carr, 22, of North Point Drive in Hagerstown, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The driver, Justin Dwayne Slunt, 19, who has resided in recent months on Drake Avenue in Falling Waters, W.Va., and on South Burhans Boulevard in Hagerstown, was taken to Washington County Hospital after he was cut out of the truck. Slunt was pronounced dead within hours of the crash, police said.

Police were still trying to obtain information on the other vehicle that might have been involved in a race, Smith said.

"I have no specific description of the car," he said. "We know it's a similar vehicle as the one (Ford Ranger) in the crash."

The driver of the Focus, Shirley Ann Flory, 60, of Hagerstown, was treated at the scene for minor injuries, police said. The driver of the Mountaineer, April Ann Lovins, 36, of Funkstown, was treated at Washington County Hospital and released, according to police.

Smith echoed the sentiments of residents who said the road has been a hot spot for violent crashes.

"We're down there a lot for accidents," Smith said. "There's been fatals since that road was put in. It's just a really sharp turn, and people go too fast."

Police ask that anyone with information on the accident call them at 301-739-2101.

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