Thomasine Stovall recognized the U.S. Marine who was killed Tuesday night while helping a motorist on U.S. 15. She said she met him earlier in the week under similar circumstances.
The same Marine — Cpl. William Ferrell, 21, of Carthage, North Carolina — gave Stovall a hand on Sunday, she said. She had pulled over along U.S. 15 near Mountville Road when her SUV appeared to be having engine trouble.
“I was not sitting there five minutes when [Ferrell] pulled up behind me in a dark pickup truck,” Stovall, of Frederick, said. “He came around, asking if I was OK.”
When Ferrell — who was assigned to Camp David — made a similar gesture of assistance on Tuesday near Thurmont during a pounding rainstorm, he was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver.
The driver of the vehicle that struck him pulled over after the crash but left the scene within a few minutes while witnesses tried to help Ferrell, according to Maryland State Police.
An anonymous donor is offering $1,000 to anyone who can help police identify and arrest the hit-and-run driver.
Police said Ferrell was standing next to the driver’s-side door of his 2012 Nissan Titan off the side of U.S. 15 near Auburn Road at 10:55 p.m. Tuesday night when an unknown truck veered off the roadway and struck him.
Ferrell was wearing a reflective vest and turned on his truck’s white emergency strobe lights before the crash to ensure his and the disabled driver’s safety, according to a Thursday police news release.
State police Crash Team investigators believe the striking vehicle was a heavy-duty pickup truck pulling a car hauler trailer or a truck tractor pulling the trailer. In either case, the truck should have noticeable damage to its passenger side.
Police have not released the identity of the motorist Ferrell was helping Tuesday night.
Stovall said she was driving Sunday to Catoctin Mountain Orchard to pick peaches and apples when her engine light began blinking. She pulled over onto the shoulder of U.S. 15 near Mountville Road to find out what was wrong with her Nissan Xterra when Ferrell stopped.
Ferrell moved to the passenger side of Stovall’s vehicle, joking that he didn’t want to get hit, she said.
Stovall said at first she thought he was a police officer because his truck blinked with white emergency strobe lights, but Ferrell told her he was in training.
“I knew he was from North Carolina, but he never told me he was a Marine,” she said.
Ferrell popped the hood of Stovall’s vehicle, checking the engine and oil as he did a Google search for possible solutions.
“He was no mechanic, but he was doing the best he could to help me out,” she said.
Stovall said she eventually contacted Geico, an insurance company, and had a tow truck get her vehicle.
“He said to me, ‘I’m leaving, but when I come back, if I see you here, I’ll stop,’” Stovall recalled. “I thought to myself, ‘He’ll know I’m OK because I’ll be gone.’ I didn’t see him again after that.”
Stovall said she heard the news of a Marine struck and killed in a hit-and-run crash but dismissed thoughts that it could be the young man who helped her Sunday. Then, she saw his photo Thursday morning.
“I happened to look at the TV and saw his face, and I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness,’” Stovall said.
Stovall mourned for Ferrell’s family and friends because the 21-year-old Marine she met was a good Samaritan.
“He was a sweet soul,” Stovall said. “Not intimidating — just a nice guy, a really nice guy.”
Local and state police agencies in both Maryland and Pennsylvania were coordinating efforts to locate the hit-and-run driver as of Thursday, according to the release.
Police have asked anyone with information about the driver or vehicle involved in the crash to call the Frederick barrack at 301-600-4151 at any time to speak with the on-duty officer or supervisor.