Taneytown man, 44, is killed in head-on collision with truck

Other driver not injured

pickup crosses road's center line, police report

October 28, 2003|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,SUN STAFF

Russell S. Mattie was on his usual schedule yesterday. After his wife told him she loved him, Mattie left his Taneytown home about 6 a.m. and began the 48-mile drive south to his auto mechanic job at a Rockville service shop.

But the 44-year-old mechanic never made it to work. He was killed about 6:40 a.m. in a head-on collision on Route 97 in Glenwood when his car was struck by a Ford Ranger that had crossed the center line, Howard County police said.

David P. Ashcraft, 20, of the 14000 block of Triadelphia Road, Glenelg, was driving north on Route 97 near Rolling Hills Drive when his truck crossed the line and hit Mattie's Honda Civic, police said.

Mattie, who lived in the 3800 block of Old Taneytown Road in Carroll County, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts, and the air bag in Mattie's car had deployed, a police spokeswoman said. Ashcraft was not injured, authorities said.

Police said speed and wet roads likely contributed to the collision, which was under investigation to determine if charges would be filed.

A woman who answered the phone at Ashcraft's residence yesterday declined to comment on the accident.

Reached by telephone at home, Bonny Mattie, 45, recalled her husband as "a wonderful man, a great husband, a good father and a good provider" who rarely missed a day of work.

She said they had two children, a 16-year-old son who lived at home and a 26-year-old son who has three children.

She said she was awake yesterday when her husband walked out the door to head to his job at Motor Works Inc. in Rockville. He typically worked from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., she said.

"The last thing I said to him was `I love you,' and I'm very grateful for [telling him that]," she said. They had been married for 17 years.

The family moved to Taneytown from College Park in June, she said. Her husband didn't mind the commute from Carroll County "because he had his little bit of heaven here at home," she said.

Russell Mattie was a fun-loving person who enjoyed working around the house and in their large yard. "He loved the outdoors," his wife said.

His boss, Mike Winokur, said in a telephone interview that he and other workers at the shop were distressed over the death.

"We're an extended family here," he said. "It's a shock to lose somebody so close."

Winokur said Mattie had often discussed leaving Prince George's County to find more living space for his family.

"He had been talking for years about moving out and getting some land and a house," Winokur said. "And he finally did it."

Funeral arrangements were incomplete as of late yesterday afternoon.

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