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Motorcycle crash victim was Scout leader, mother of five

May 28, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

BOONSBORO - It was the first motorcycle ride that Debra Fields-Jordan had gone on with her husband after she completed her safety training course and received her motorcycle operator's license.

The weather Sunday was beautiful and she had a craving for a cheeseburger, so the couple decided to ride from their home in Boonsboro to a hamburger stand they liked near Thurmont, Md.

As they rode east on Md. 77, Stephen Jordan, who had gotten a short distance ahead of his wife, looked into his mirror.

"I saw her headlight, and the truck came across the road, and I didn't see her anymore," he said.

Fields-Jordan, a 35-year-old mother of five, Girl Scout troop leader, and the light of her husband's life, was struck by a white pickup truck that ran a stop sign. She died later that night at Washington County Hospital.

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"It was totally senseless," Jordan said.

Jordan, who has been riding motorcycles for more than 10 years, said he wouldn't let his wife ride until she completed the safety course, and both of them always rode with full safety equipment, including helmets.

If anything, the evening of the accident, Fields-Jordan was going too slow, he said.

"She had done all the right things," Jordan said. "The cause was the person who ran the stop sign and hit her."

Now, Jordan and the couple's five children - three of hers and two of his - are struggling to come to terms with the loss and pleading for the driver of the pickup truck or anyone else with information to come forward.

The driver of the truck fled on foot and has not been found, despite an extensive search, Washington County Sheriff's Department deputies said. The truck, which hit a tree and was left at the scene, is owned by Harry William Shrader Jr. of 12435 Pleasant Valley Road, but no charges had been filed by Tuesday evening, deputies said.

"We'll never have this closed until we know (the driver) has been apprehended," Jordan said.

Stephen Jordan and Debra Fields-Jordan were married three years ago, in February.

Fields-Jordan loved her "blended family" more than anything in the world, Jordan said. With three of her children - Alex, 16, Ian, 13, and Kara, 12 - and two of his - Christopher, 17, and Katherine, 11 - the family used to say they were "one short of a Brady Bunch," he said.

Fields-Jordan could be brutally honest at times and had a wonderful laugh, her husband said.

"She was my life, and I loved her more than anything," he said.

Fields-Jordan was co-leader of her daughters' Girl Scout troop in Frederick, Md., and considered all of the troop's members "her girls," said co-leader Helen Roth of Frederick.

Fields-Jordan was the neighborhood cookie booth coordinator, catered the Girl Scout leader dinner for the past two years and was organizing a trip to Niagara Falls in June for the troop to celebrate bridging to Cadettes, Roth said.

"She always had the gumption and the guts to do the crazy stuff we'd come up with," Roth said. "She had so much to offer, and she shared herself with everybody she came across."

Jordan said that devotion spread to everything his wife did.

"That's the thing about Deb," he said. "She gave and gave, and all she expected back in return is love."

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