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Pa. man faces charges in road racing fatality

June 01, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

RINGGOLD

A Waynesboro, Pa., man has been charged in connection with a speed contest Monday night on Md. 64 that claimed the life of a 19-year-old man, Maryland State Police Trooper 1st Class S. Miller said Wednesday.

Thomas E. Smetzer, 29, was charged with reckless driving, negligent driving, speed greater than reasonable and driver being involved in a speed contest, Miller said.

Miller said none of the charges carry possible jail time. The maximum penalty on the most serious charge of reckless driving carries a $580 fine, he said.

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The charge of driver involved in a speed contest carries a maximum fine of $280.

Michael Bruce Neibert, 19, of Waynesboro, Pa., was killed Monday night when the 1988 Ford Mustang he was driving crashed into a tree, police said. Neibert, who was racing against Smetzer, was traveling east in the westbound lane of Md. 64 when he swerved his car to avoid hitting a motorist driving toward him, police said. When Neibert swerved, his car went up an embankment and into a tree, police said.

Neibert was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

His passenger, Gary Wayne Bird Jr., was taken to Washington County Hospital. A nursing supervisor said Bird was discharged Wednesday.

The accident was still under investigation Wednesday, Miller said.

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