Sykesville man drowns at Liberty Reservoir

June 12, 1999|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

A 65-year-old Carroll County man drowned in Liberty Reservoir yesterday afternoon after he tried to swim across a stretch of water and failed halfway, state police in Westminster reported.

Perry M. Humpel of the 1400 block of Raincliffe Road in Sykesville had apparently been drinking before the incident at 1: 40 p.m., Trooper Danielle Barry said.

Two men were fishing on the banks of the reservoir when they were joined by a woman who brought Humpel with her, Barry said. The drowning occurred on reservoir property, about half a mile down a gravel fire road leading off Pine Knob Road and a mile east of Route 32 near Eldersburg.

Humpel "came here to meet some friends to go fishing," Barry said after interviewing the witnesses. "He decided to go swimming. He said he was going to try to swim across and got about halfway across when he decided to turn around and then stopped. We think alcohol was a contributing factor."

One of Humpel's friends on shore pulled him out, police said. A trooper at the scene said Humpel swam for about 100 feet before turning back. They did not know the depth of the water.

Humpel was declared dead at the scene.

The volunteer fire company at Gamber used its rescue boat to retrieve the body from the rocky shore and transport it to a boat ramp. State natural resources officers and Sykesville water officials were also at the scene.

Pub Date: 6/12/99

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