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Teen killed in crash called a 'wonderful young man'

November 10, 2005|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN

erinc@herald-mail.com

Matthew J. Goodridge was proud of his summer job as a lifeguard at Claude M. Potterfield Pool. He had plans for college and was on track to graduate from Truth Christian Academy in Hagerstown next year.

But Matthew, 17, of Hagerstown, died Monday after losing control of a scooter he was driving on Wilson Boulevard.

David Engle, the director of Washington County Department of Social Services, said Matthew had been in foster care since 2002. He lived with his foster family at 1011 Corbett St. in Hagerstown.

Some children have trouble in foster care, Engle said, but Matthew was an inspiration to his peers and social services staff.

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"Having had some adversity in his younger years, he really rose above it to become an outstanding role model for teens," Engle said.

Engle said Matthew was active in the department's Independent Living Program, which provides services and supervision to prepare youth in foster care for self-sufficiency. He said Matthew was interested in all the program's services, including education, employment, budgeting, housing and other life skill support services.

"Matthew excelled in the utilization of this support," he said.

He was also active in church and received the rank of First Class Scout in Boy Scout Troop No. 26.

"This is a young man who had an outstanding foster parent who really helped him grow and helped him adjust," Engle said. "He was just an outstanding, exceptional, wonderful young man."

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