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Region hit hard by floodwaters

Three drown during rescue

Three drown during rescue

June 29, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

MYERSVILLE, MD.

Three Myersville residents drowned Tuesday night near Catoctin Creek after they were swept from the bed of a pickup truck driven by a man who had rescued them from a car stranded in high water, Frederick County Sheriff's Office Spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Bailey said Wednesday.

The bodies of husband and wife Jesse R. Haulsee, 24, and Angelia S. Haulsee, 29, and Eric C. Zepp, 19, all of the Highland School Road area, were found in and along Catoctin Creek along Md. 17, just north of U.S. 40, between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m., Bailey said.

Zepp was found alive during the search and was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly afterward, Bailey said.

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The Sheriff's Office, Maryland Natural Resources Police and the Frederick County Department of Fire and Rescue Services were at the scene combing the area from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Bailey said. She could not say how much time spanned between the discovery of each person or when and where exactly they were found.

A passerby driving a Chevrolet pickup truck stopped at about 9 p.m. when he saw Zepp and the Haulsees stranded in high water in a passenger vehicle on Bittle Road, Bailey said.

Witnesses said the three had abandoned their car about a half-mile upstream, waded through rising water and then gotten a ride in the truck.

They got out of the truck at about 8:30 p.m. near the rural home of Jesse Haulsee's mother and stepfather, where the Haulsees had left their daughter, Jocelyn, earlier that day.

They didn't know that their relatives had gone to the home of another family member to escape the flood, said Kathy Queen, a family friend.

Deputies on Wednesday afternoon were withholding the name and age of the truck's driver, saying he was still being questioned as a witness.

The trio got into the back of the pickup truck and got swept into high waters near the creek about a mile from where they had been picked up, she said.

The way in which the three adults drowned is under investigation by Detective Chuck Jenkins.

Maryland State Police continued their search into Wednesday afternoon for 14-year-old Michael White and 16-year-old Thomas Plunkard, who went missing after leaving their homes in the Keymar area of Frederick County on Tuesday night. The boys went to check out a creek that runs along the border of Carroll and Frederick counties, Elena Russo, state police public information officer said.

Police helicopters and K-9s and the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Department had not found the boys by 10 p.m. They plan to resume their search for the boys Thursday, a Maryland State Police spokeswoman in Frederick, Md., said.

One bicycle and clothing were found near the creek, police said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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