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Crashes kill three from area

Two from Hagerstown die near Orlando, Fla.

Two from Hagerstown die near Orlando, Fla.

June 03, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Heather Miller and Charles Cosmos had been seeing each other for maybe a couple months, Miller's family members said Thursday, but the single mother was looking forward to her first out-of-state vacation without family members.

Miller, 19, and Cosmos, 25, were killed Tuesday in an accident about 30 miles east of Orlando, police in Florida said.

Cosmos was driving a two-door 1993 Honda Civic on a two-lane, undivided toll road and Miller was his passenger, police said.

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At about 10:40 a.m., a tractor-trailer crossed into oncoming traffic, striking the Honda, police said. Miller and Cosmos died at the scene, while the truck driver and his passenger were not injured, police said.

Cosmos' last address was an apartment on Summit Avenue. Acquaintances at the Dagmar Hotel, who asked that their names not be printed, said Cosmos was a quiet and considerate man who had lived there for a few months.

A police spokesman from Florida said Cosmos at one point lived in the state. Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Larry Coggins said official records reflect the name Charles Cosmos, although a brother told police his name was Cosmos Charles. Attempts Thursday to reach Cosmos' relatives were unsuccessful.

Family members described Miller as a devoted mother, a driven student and a kind-hearted friend.

Miller leaves a 3-year-old son, Caleb Bradley. Miller's half brother, Anthony Boward, 20, of Hagerstown, said he will help care for his nephew.

"She was a good person. One of the best people that I ever thought to meet. She loved her son to death," Boward said Thursday.

Miller gave birth to her son during her junior year at South Hagerstown High School. She completed her schoolwork the following summer, one school year before she was scheduled to graduate.

Miller recently left a job waiting tables and was taking some time to travel with Cosmos. She had been interviewing for a new job, and both Miller and Cosmos planned to go back to school this year, Miller's sister, Bobbie Jay Miller, 17, of Williamsport, said.

"She was so excited to go," Miller's mother, Michelle Pfeltz, 37, said. Miller recently had moved in with Pfeltz on South Potomac Street.

Pfeltz said she began to worry when she got a phone call Monday from Miller that the car had broken down, but her daughter was laughing off the stroke of bad luck.

"I told her to be careful," Pfeltz said.

Miller's father, Robert Miller, 43, of Greencastle, Pa., said he saw his daughter shortly before she left for the trip. He said he also worried about the trip but didn't hold her back.

"She got a hug and a kiss from me, and I got to tell her I love her. But she knew that anyway," Robert Miller said.

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