THURMONT, Md. (WUSA9) -- Police are searching for a driver who struck and killed a U.S. Marine who stopped to help a stranded driver during heavy rain in Frederick County Tuesday night.
The crash happened on Route 15 in Thurmont, close to Auburn Road near Camp David around 11 p.m., police said.
Marine Cpl., William "Bill" Ferrell, 21, of North Carolina was headed north on US 15 back toward Camp David in the middle of Tuesday's heavy rains, when he saw a motorist stranded on the side of the highway.
He pulled up to help and was standing next to his car when the driver of another truck swerved off the road and slammed into Ferrell and the side of his truck.
"I would say [the driver] definitely knew he hit something," Daniel Rishell with Maryland State Police said. "It would have made a loud noise, pretty significant damage to the truck he was driving, as well as if it didn't throw him off course as well."
Two witnesses saw the hit-and-run driver stop briefly about 100 feet up the road. However, the witnesses were so busy trying to save the injured Marine, they were unable to provide a great description of the vehicle.
Witness think the car involved was a heavy duty, dark colored, dual-axle pickup with a car carrier and a couple of vehicles in it hitched to the bed of the truck.
"There's probably going to be some damage to the passenger side of the pick-up, as well as damage to the trailer," Rishell said.
Police are now actively looking for that truck and its driver in Maryland and into Pennsylvania. Though the driver has now had hours to escape.
"Could potentially be a long way," Rishell said. "A lot of times with that type of vehicle, they do drop off locally. So he could very well still be in the area."
Police said he may have gotten rid of the car carrier by now.
Corporal Ferrell was trained infantryman and a security forces guard based at the Marine Corps Barracks at 6th and I in D.C. He was promoted to the rank of corporal in August of 2014, according to the Marine Corps.
His fellow Marines heartbroken at the death of Corporal Ferrell
"The command is heartbroken by the loss of one of our own, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Cpl. William Ferrell," Col. Benjamin Watson, commanding officer, Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. said in a statement. "During this difficult time please know that William was a selfless Marine, and his actions reflected his strong and noble character, one that epitomizes a United States Marine."
Anyone who witnessed the crash or has any information about the car or driver is asked to call 301-600-4151 or 911.
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