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Four men killed in Friday accident

October 24, 2004

COOKSVILLE, Md. - Four men - including two from Frederick County, Md. - were killed Friday in a morning rush-hour crash in Howard County, Md., Maryland State Police said in a news release.

Jose M. Sanchez, 37, of the 10000 block of White Pelican Way in New Market, Md., and his passenger, Marco A.S. Gonzalez, 23, of the first block of South Pendleton Court in Frederick, Md., were the Frederick County men killed.

Sanchez was driving east on Interstate 70, police said.

At about 6:30 a.m., just east of Md. 97, Sanchez swerved suddenly into the fast lane, over the grass median strip and crossed into the westbound lanes, police said.

Sanchez's 2004 Chevrolet Silverado hit a westbound 2004 extended cab Chevrolet Silverado head-on, police said.

Charles R. Wilhelm Jr., 66, of the 16000 block of Big Fall Road in Monkton, Md., who was driving the westbound Silverado, also was killed, along with his passenger, James H. Gillispie, 75, of the 18000 block of York Road in Parkton, Md.

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Air bags in the trucks deployed. Police said they believe that only Wilhelm was wearing a seat belt.

Police said they didn't know what caused the crash, which closed the westbound lanes of I-70 for about 41/2 hours. A detour sent westbound traffic onto Md. 97.

Sanchez and Gonzalez worked for a Howard County plumbing company and Sanchez was driving a company truck, police said.

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