Rescue crewman finds buddy dead in crash 'I can't take anymore right away'

August 24, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

"I'm going to have to hang up my gear for a while -- I can't take any more right away," said Danny W. Knox, recalling yesterday how he found the body of his "closest friend," Thomas Alan Wiles, in the wreckage after a traffic accident Sunday night.

Mr. Knox, 22, of Taneytown is a volunteer with the Taneytown Fire Company and was on the first engine to respond to the crash. He had been a classmate and friend of Alan Wiles since the eighth grade, he said.

He said they liked to get together and go to truck and tractor pulls and demolition derbys.

Mr. Knox had also worked with the other young man who died in the crash, Wayne Eugene Harley Jr., at the Harley Well Drilling Co.

Speed and recklessness appear to have been factors in the PTC pickup truck crash on Trevanion Road that killed the two young Taneytown area men, authorities said.

State police said that Mr. Wiles, 23, of the 1500 block of Crouse Mill Road and Mr. Harley, 22, of the 4000 block of Baptist Road were both pronounced dead at the scene by Dr. Richard Jones, associate medical examiner for Carroll County.

Investigators said the two were northbound on Trevanion Road in a 1993 GMC pickup when a 1993 Ford driven by a friend attempted to pass on a curve but had to drop back quickly to avoid hitting a southbound vehicle head-on. The Ford, pulling back into the right lane, struck the left rear bumper of the GMC. The truck spun out counter-clockwise, crossed the center line and ran off the left side of the two-lane road, striking some trees broadside.

Chad Christopher Pollard, 22, of first block of Pipe Creek Road in Linwood was at the wheel of the Ford, authorities said. He was able to skid to a stop more than 500 feet away and was not injured, according to a state police report.

Investigators said the three had been at the same residence before the accident and both vehicles were traveling at high speed.

The probable cause of the crash was listed as reckless driving and unsafe passing. Charges are pending completion of the investigation, authorities said.

Mr. Wiles was a 1989 graduate of Francis Scott Key High School and the Carroll County Career and Technology Center.

He was a "very likable guy" who worked on the family dairy farm, said his mother, Patsy Wiles.

"Alan was heavily involved in the 4H and FFA programs when he was younger and won several trips to Chicago and other places," she said. "He was an officer in both organizations and loved machinery." He did all the welding on the 108-head dairy farm, she said.

Wayne Harley, who also attended Francis Scott Key High School, worked with his father in the well-drilling business and was deeply involved in weight training, going to the Knott Arena at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg five evenings a week, according to his stepmother, Barbara Harley.

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