A veteran volunteer firefighter from Frederick County suffered an injury and died after responding to a crash that killed a 22-year-old New Windsor resident in Unionville earlier Tuesday.

Firefighter Michael Powers collapsed at the scene of the crash, which was reported at 12:54 p.m. on Liberty Road at Unionville Road near the eastern Frederick County line.

Powers arrived there driving one of the engines from the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department, according to Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services Chief Tom Owens, who appeared at a press conference at Frederick Memorial Hospital at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The head-on collision between a tractor-trailer and a car left a significant amount of debris in the road, Owens said. Powers bent over to clear some debris after he pulled up.

“In doing so, he experienced a serious medical injury and collapsed on scene,” Owens said, adding that Powers was rushed to Frederick Memorial Hospital for treatment, but was ultimately pronounced dead at 2:21 p.m.

Firefighters and emergency rescue personnel back at the crash scene also determined that one of the people involved in the crash, Kevin N. Tevelow, the driver and sole occupant of a 2016 Volkswagen, died as a result of the collision, according to a state police press release issued shortly before 6:30 p.m.

“The Volkswagen was traveling west on [Md.] 26 and attempted to pass a vehicle in the passing zone over the dotted yellow line, but failed to yield to eastbound traffic,” said Sgt. Adam Matthai, a supervisor with the Maryland State Police’s Frederick barrack, explaining that the car collided head-on with a 2016 International tractor-trailer hauling a tanker full of water.

Evidence collected at the scene and interviews with witnesses indicate the tractor-trailer tried to swerve onto the eastbound shoulder to avoid striking the car, according to the release.

Powers’ body was escorted in a small procession down Interstate 70 to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy, Owens said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, 60-year-old Ricky H. Hyde, of Manchester, Maryland, and his passenger, 58-year-old George N. Riggle III, of Millers, Maryland, suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening, and they were taken by ambulance to a hospital in Carroll County for treatment, according to the press release.

All lanes of Liberty Road were reopened to traffic at about 6:30 p.m., according to the release. Collision reconstruction experts and members of the Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division collected evidence and examined the scene, Matthai said.

The Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office was also contacted to determine if criminal charges were applicable as a result of the crash, the release states.

A loss for the county

Chip Jewell, the current president of the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department, arrived immediately behind Powers’ engine and watched his longtime friend make his way to the debris-strewn road.

“I saw him lean down, presumably to move some of the debris, and he didn’t come back up,” Jewell said. “He just collapsed.”

Jewell knew Powers for nearly 50 years, serving with him at Libertytown since the early 1980s when Powers bought a house in Mount Airy and transferred from the Carroll Manor Volunteer Fire Co. Powers, who worked for Montgomery County Public Schools, started volunteering more than 40 years ago at the Brunswick Volunteer Fire Co., according to Jewell, who is also the immediate past chief of the county’s Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association.

Powers was known for his sense of humor and willingness to serve wherever he could, often manning the raffle booth at Libertytown’s annual fundraiser carnival. As he grew older, Powers often served the company as a driver, but never passed up the opportunity to respond to calls.

“He got out of bed at 4:20 this morning to respond to a fire call and, when the fire apparatus was canceled, we went back to the station,” Jewell said, remembering the last hours he spent with Powers.

Shortly after the first call was canceled, Powers and Jewell responded to a second call, this time for a medical emergency, a short time before 5 a.m., then headed back to the station, where they reminisced and traded jokes.

“Little did I know that that friend would be gone just a short time later,” Jewell said.

Information regarding a service or other ceremony to honor Powers and his volunteerism will be released later in accordance with his family’s wishes, Owens said.

“He has served us well,” Owens said. “Our loss is the loss of our county and of his family.”

Follow Jeremy Arias on Twitter: @Jarias_Prime.

Jeremy Arias is the Frederick city and government reporter for The Frederick News-Post.

(29) comments


God bless and thank you for your many years of service!


They keep referring to it as he "experienced a serious medical injury". I see people mentioning a heart attack. Is that an injury?


Why do you care? He is dead. What business is it of yours?


Why can’t someone ask an innocent question without you being so despicably hateful? Any particular reason?


Why don't you ask how much he weighed? Or what his cholesterol level was? Or when his last physical was? The only important point for the public is that he has passed away while volunteering for our community. It may be innocent, but innocent as in "naive" and also completely insensitive.


Sorry, I did not think the question was innocent (see my post) and I do not think I was despicably hateful. So no reason. Happy now?


They made it a front page story, at that point it became everyone's business.


Neither he nor his family asked to have their loved one's private medical issues discussed in the FNP.


I am pretty sure they do not care what people think.




A 70-something year old dude helping at a car wreck? Probably a heart attack. He was too old for something like this.


Thank you for that thoughtful and helpful response.


Feel free to walk up and tell someone who has dedicated their life to serving the community, giving their own time (and on their own dime), sacrificing family events to protect others, that they are no longer fit to do the job solely because they are "old".

Comment deleted.

I wasn't aware the ME's report had been released.


FNP. Is there some reason you haven’t included Mr Powers picture? Local TV has provided since yesterday evening newscast. Rest In Peace Mike. May God be with your family.


RIP Mike. You were a true brother. You will be miss by many.


End of watch Firefighter Michael Powers. Bless you for all you have done.




How does one bend over and end up dead? That makes no sense.


That is how my mother died actually. She bent over to look at something, had a massive heart attack, and, according to a physician who was nearby, saw her fall and came to assist her within seconds, was probably dead before she hit the ground.


or aneurysm. It happens


Sure does. It was actually the perfect way for her to die. Her biggest fear was being an invalid (her mother was an invalid for decades). I was thrilled that she died that way.


That is how I want to go; boom!


Me too. If not naturally, then at a time of my own choosing.


Sounds like a heart attack. Very sad. This is a wake up call for all of us, male or female. We all need to clean up our eating habits and exercise. You never know when it could strike.


I’m gonna tell ya something. This unsafe passing is happening MORE AND MORE. I have seen more of this over the last 12 months than I have since I got my drivers license. And, it’s happening in NO PASSING zones a lot. You wanna know where this is most prevalent? Route 85 / Route 28, in the mornings. I’ve witnessed near head on collisions.


Probably because some people seem incapable of maintaining the speed limit.


I totally see it and agree. My feeling is that the passage of right turn on red is constantly abused, and drivers feel entitled to do whatever they want to do to get ahead. Police are not ticketing. I drive 3 hours a day and see it everywhere ... Maryland and Virginia.


This is true. My son lives on 28 right before it turns into 85 and there are always accidents near his house. Whether it is people driving too fast around the turns or morons passing on the double yellows or failing to yield to traffic

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