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I-70 crash victims identified

January 19, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ and MARLO BARNHART

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Maryland State Police say two Frederick women were killed in Monday's 50-vehicle pileup on Interstate 70.

State police identified the victims of Monday's crash as Lori Anne Shipley, 51, and Barbara Anne Pacifico, 53.

State police say both were driving alone and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Shipley was chair of the Hood College Board of Associates, according to Dave Diehl, executive director of Hood College's marketing/communications. A 1997 Hood graduate, Shipley joined the board in 1999, and was elected chair in 2007.

Diehl said Shipley was manager of human resources for The Plamondon Companies in Frederick.

The accident shut down the westbound lanes of I-70 for many hours.

Thirteen others went to the hospital, said Kevin Lewis, Washington County's director of fire and emergency services. A small number had serious injuries.

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Maryland State Police, who investigated the crash, said in a news release that one person was critically injured.

The American Red Cross in Washington County ended up caring for the needs of 71 people involved in Monday's pileup.

"We closed the building at 10 p.m. Monday," said Julie Barr-Strasburg, executive director. Five families with no place else to go were placed in rooms at the Homewood Inn at the Valley Mall.

Four of those five rooms were donated by the motel management, Barr-Strasburg said.

Authorities were not sure if falling snow played a role in the massive crash, which closed I-70's westbound lanes east of Mapleville Road for several hours.

A trooper at the scene said one person slowed down and the result was a chain-reaction accident.

A wide swath of wreckage was left on the highway, with cars and trucks jutting every which way. Some were in a wooded area well off the road.

At one end of the crash scene, a vehicle was on the roof of a smashed passenger car that was pinned against a guardrail.

Sandy Trumpower, a lieutenant with the Mount Aetna Volunteer Fire Department, said Washington County got several 911 calls at around 12:20 p.m., the time of the accident.

The initial reports were that 20 vehicles were involved, she said, but it turned out to be worse.

Trumpower, the spokeswoman at the scene, said 40 passenger vehicles were part of the crash, along with seven tractor-trailers and three box trucks.

Access to the westbound lanes of I-70 was cut off at exit 42 in Myersville in Frederick County. Traffic, which was backed up about three miles, was rerouted onto Md. 17, then to U.S. 40.

Rescue crews working at the scene were removing the last tractor-trailer from the scene at 10 p.m., Maryland State Police officials said.

State police said the westbound lanes opened at 11 p.m.

Traffic was backed up to Ridge Road in Frederick County at one point Monday night, state police said.

State police in Washington and Frederick counties placed snow emergency plans in effect at noon due to snow that began falling around 10 a.m. The plan was lifted at 4 p.m.

Of the 71 people taken to the Red Cross office, about one-third had left within a few hours, after finding someone to pick them up, Barr-Strasburg said.

She said most people were not local residents, although one lived in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Lewis said a dog was taken from the scene so it could be examined by a veterinarian.

Chief Photographer Kevin G. Gilbert contributed to this story.

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