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Man helping to push car on I-70 is struck, killed

5 others injured

Police: Frederick man's 12-year-old daughter was behind the wheel; son, 11, was helping him push disabled vehicle around two trucks parked on shoulder

May 01, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • One person was killed and five people were taken to Meritus Medical Center after a multivehicle crash on Interstate 70 near the Washington-Frederick county line Tuesday evening.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

A Frederick, Md., man who was helping to push a disabled car in the slow lane of eastbound Interstate 70 was killed Tuesday evening when the vehicle that was being pushed was struck by another car, according to Maryland State Police.

The accident was reported at 6:43 p.m., and it occurred in Washington County just west of the Frederick County line where National Pike (U.S. 40) crosses the interstate.

State police said that Adam C. Gammon, 37, of Bethel Road, Frederick, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Five other people were taken to Meritus Medical Center east of Hagerstown for treatment of their injuries.

Police said that a tractor-trailer owned by Clouse Trucking, Inc., of Carlisle, Pa., became disabled and had stopped on the right shoulder of I-70. A Dodge pickup truck owned by the same company had been sent to make repairs and was also stopped on the right shoulder behind the truck.

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As the trucking company employees were completing their repairs, a 2013 Chrysler 200 driven by Gammon also became disabled and stopped on the right shoulder behind the trucks, according to police.

Police said Gammon directed his 12-year-old daughter to get in the driver’s seat of the Chrysler and steer it while he and his 11-year-old son pushed the car forward. The girl was told to steer the car into the right lane of I-70 and around the two trucks so the vehicle could coast forward, according to police.

When the car entered the traffic lane, a 2012 Ford Taurus driven by Guruprasad P. Bandekar, 36, no address given, struck Gammon and the Chrysler at highway speed, according to police.

Police said both vehicles proceeded forward and struck the tractor-trailer driver, Gary B. Kauffman, 56, of Mapleville Road, Hagerstown and the other trucking company employee, Edward A. Sechrist, 60, of Warm Springs Road, Chambersburg, Pa., who were standing on the shoulder near the tractor-trailer.

Both children, as well as with Bandekar, Kauffman and Sechrist, were taken by ambulance to Meritus Medical Center.

The severity of their injuries was not known, a state police spokesman said Tuesday night.

The eastbound lanes of I-70 were shut down after the accident and they were reopened at 10:30 p.m.

The accident snarled traffic around the Hagerstown area.

Eastbound I-70 traffic was being diverted onto eastbound U.S. 40 at Dual Highway. U.S. 40 eastbound became clogged with traffic and eastbound I-70 traffic in the Hagerstown area was backed up as far as the eye could see from the Dual Highway interchange.

There was also congestion at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Md. 66 where authorities were directing traffic.

Troopers from the state police Hagerstown barrack, along with fire and EMS units from Washington and Frederick counties assisted at the scene. Crash reconstructionists from the MSP Crash Team also responded. 

State Highway Administration personnel and volunteer fire police assisted with road closures and the detour.



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