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Father, daughter killed in crash

March 08, 2007

LEITERSBURG - A father and his teenage daughter died Wednesday night in a two-vehicle crash on Leitersburg Pike, and police were looking for the car they believe caused the accident.

Nicholas S. Sabath, 49, of Hagerstown, and Sylvia Sabath died in the accident that was reported at 6:23 p.m., near the Antietam Creek bridge.

Police said Sabath was westbound on Md. 60 in a 1989 Honda Accord when he attempted to avoid an eastbound Pontiac Sunfire that crossed the center line east of Lehman's Mill Road.

Police said Sabath lost control of his vehicle and veered into the path of an eastbound 1992 Jeep Wrangler driven by John C. Pangborn, 19, of Hagerstown.

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A Washington County Hospital nursing supervisor said Pangborn was being treated late Wednesday night. Police said his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Police provided no address or age for Sylvia Sabath, but Smithsburg High School Principal Melvin Whitfield said late Wednesday that she was a senior at the school.

"Sylvia was a good student and was planning on going to college next year, probably HCC," Whitfield said.

Members of a crisis intervention team would be available to students at the school today, Whitfield said.

Trooper 1st Class D. Bittinger said Sylvia was Nicholas S. Sabath's daughter.

Bittinger said the accident was caused by the driver of the Pontiac and weather was not a factor.

A Washington County Emergency Services dispatcher said rescuers from Leitersburg, Maugansville and Smithsburg cleared the accident scene at 8:37 p.m.

Part of Leitersburg Pike was closed after the accident, Leitersburg Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Kirk Mongan said.

The Sunfire is dark metallic blue, and it has Maryland tags, police said. The car was a late-1990s model, police said.

Anyone with information about the Pontiac is asked to call police at 301-739-2101.

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