The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Sheriff’s daughter, granddaughter among victims killed in Md. crash
Prayer vigil to be held
The Rappahannock Church of Christ in Warsaw is holding a prayer vigil at 7 p.m. tonight for the families of the accident victims. http://www.rcofc.org/ for directions.
BY CATHY DYSON
THE FREE LANCE–STAR
The daughter and granddaughter of King George County Sheriff Steve Dempsey were killed in a horrific crash yesterday afternoon in Maryland.
Bethany Dempsey, 37, and her daughter, Lauren White, 14, died in what was described as a “violent eight-vehicle crash” in Anne Arundel County, according to CapitalGazette.com of Annapolis.
Dempsey and her daughter were in a 2009 Toyota Camry driven by Michael Cullen, Dempsey’s boyfriend. His 15-year-old son, who goes by “Bubba,” was in the front seat, and Dempsey and her daughter, along with Cullen’s 7-year-old daughter, Abigail, were in the back seat, according to the Anne Arundel County Police Department.
Abigail also died in the crash. Cullen and his son are hospitalized and in critical but stable condition, according to the police.
The crash happened on State Route 3 in Millersville, Md., near the Route 32 overpass. Other traffic slowed as it approached the overpass, but a 2000 International flatbed truck, traveling around 50 mph, failed to reduce its speed and rear-ended the Cullen’s Camry, according to the police report.
The impact caused a chain reaction involving six other vehicles, according to the police.
“I’ve never seen an accident scene that was quite as bad,” said police spokesman Lt. Glenn Shananan, who was quoted in the CapitalGazette.com story. “It’s tragic as hell.”
News of the crash traveled quickly throughout King George County, and Facebook pages were filled with condolences. Churches, including Shiloh Baptist Church in King George, asked members to keep the families in prayer.
“If you know Steve Dempsey and you know his family—his father was a pastor, his brother is a pastor—he and his wife Charlene are two of the finest people you’d ever want to meet,” said Gary Butler, a real-estate agent in King George. “It’s just heartbreaking. It’s a terrible tragedy.”
Also on Charlene Dempsey’s Facebook page was an earlier posting of birthday balloons. The deadly accident happened on the sheriff’s 60th birthday.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425