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Sharpsburg teen dies in Geeting Road crash

Reed Alexander Cantler, 14, was pronounced dead at the scene

December 22, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER | kate.alexander@herald-mail.com

SHARPSBURG — A Sharpsburg teen died Wednesday when the vehicle he was riding in struck a fence and two trees, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Reed Alexander Cantler, 14, was pronounced dead at the scene of a late afternoon crash on Geeting Road near Sharpsburg, Washington County Sheriff's Department Deputy 1st Class David Izat said.

At about 3:50 p.m., Reed and three other Sharpsburg teens were traveling southbound on Geeting Road when the driver lost control, a sheriff's office news release said.

The vehicle left the roadway, striking several fence posts and two large trees on the right shoulder, Izat said.

After striking the trees, the vehicle spun back across Geeting Road, coming to rest on the shoulder of the northbound lane, he said.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash. Reed was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash, Izat said.  

A cause of death has not yet been determined, he said.

A preliminary investigation by the sheriff's office indicates that speed may have been a contributing factor, Izat said.

"If I can nail down a speed, analyze the perception and reaction times for the vehicle," he will be closer to identifying the cause of the crash, he said.

However, he said he has many more hours of accident reconstruction ahead of him before a cause is known.

The driver and two other passengers, all teenagers, were taken to Meritus Medical Center near Hagerstown with unknown injuries.

As of 10:40 p.m., the driver, identified by police as Jorden Raymond Cruz-Shiring, 17, of Sharpsburg, had been discharged from the emergency room, a hospital employee said.  

The other two passengers, identified by the sheriff's office as Joshua Mark Grim, 16, and Aaron Edward Cantler, 16, both of Sharpsburg, were still being treated in the emergency room, according to a hospital employee.

Their conditions were unknown at press time.

Izat said rescuers on the scene expected the driver and the other two passengers to survive.

It is unclear if anyone else in the vehicle was wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, Izat said, because they were not in the vehicle when he arrived on the scene.

Most of the damage to the vehicle was on the right rear side, where Reed was riding, he said.

By late Wednesday night, a page honoring Reed had appeared on Facebook.

Titled "R.I.P. Reed Cantler," it had more than 250 people responding to it by 10:30 p.m.  

People were posting comments to Reed and his family.

"Reed you were a great kid and always had a smile on your face," one poster commented.

"Reed was my son's best friend and my 'other son,'" another poster commented, continuing: "He is a great person. A child (with) a lovely heart. My home and heart are so empty (with)out him here as he always was."

The first comment on the page sent condolences to the Cantler family, "A devastating loss ... you are all in our prayers."

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