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Two die in separate crashes

July 31, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION and ANDREW SCHOTZ

TRI-STATE - A 40-year-old Hagerstown man and a 26-year-old Martinsburg, W.Va., man died Monday in separate vehicle accidents, the second and third fatal crashes in the Tri-State area in two days.

Paul Allen Vanderford of Hagerstown was killed Monday afternoon in a crash on Ringgold Pike, east of Leitersburg Pike, in northern Washington County, Maryland State Police said.

Earlier Monday, Andrew Graham of Martinsburg died when his car crossed over an Interstate 81 median and was hit by a truck going the opposite way, according to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

In the afternoon crash, police said in a news release that Kara R. Remsburg, 24, of Greencastle, Pa., was driving a 2004 Ford Explorer west and crossed the center line as she went around a curve on Ringgold Pike.

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Vanderford was a passenger in a 2005 Honda Pilot sport utility vehicle driven by his 15-year-old daughter, according to Trooper 1st Class Michael Ford, who investigated the crash.

The girl, whom police would not identify, was driving east, Ford said. When she saw the Explorer coming at her in her lane, she tried to avoid it, but the Explorer hit the SUV she was driving head-on, police said.

The Explorer went off the road and hit a parked, unoccupied Cadillac Fleetwood, police said.

Police said Remsburg and the girl did not have life-threatening injuries.

Ford said the girl had a learner's permit, for which the minimum age is 15 years, 9 months, according to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration's Web site.

Police said Washington County Sheriff's Department Deputy R. Kemmerer, the first officer on the scene, removed Vanderford from the SUV and began CPR. Fire and rescue workers took over, but Vanderford was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ringgold Pike was closed for more than two hours as police investigated the crash.

Maurice Lehman said he was lying in bed, watching TV, when he heard the crash in front of his home and called 911.

"It rattled the whole house," he said.

In the crash Monday morning, Graham was driving a 1997 Nissan Sentra south on I-81. It crossed over the median and struck a northbound tanker truck, the sheriff's department said.

Graham, who worked as an electrician for Henry Electric, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

The crash occurred around 5:19 a.m., about three miles north of the Virginia line, the sheriff's department said.

The truck driver was not hurt, police said.

It is not clear what caused Graham to drive off the interstate, Chief Deputy Kenny Lemaster said.

In a third accident, which occurred early Sunday in Jefferson County, W.Va., a Ranson, W.Va., man died when his truck went off the road and hit a tree, police said.

Shortly after midnight, Jeffrey Shillingburg, 42, lost control of a Ford F-150 truck on Cranes Lane near the intersection of Lemon Road and went off the left side of the road, police said.

The truck struck a tree on the driver's side and roof, according to Cpl. Vincent Tiong of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

It was still unclear Monday what caused Shillingburg to go off the road, and police were awaiting toxicology reports on Shillingburg's body, Lt. Dave Colbert said.

Shillingburg's daughter said Monday that she believes her father was on his way home to his house in the Orchard Hills subdivision, which is about two blocks from the accident scene.

Jessie Shillingburg said her father, who worked as a foreman for a land development firm in Manassas, Va., "had a heart of gold. We're all going to miss him."

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