Hancock Teen Dies In Crash
Maryland State Police reported 19-year-old Thomas James Kratz was pronounced dead at the scene of the 7:27 p.m. crash along National Pike on January 21.
The fatal accident occurred as Kratz was travelling westbound near the intersection of Walnut Point Road in a 1997 Toyota sedan. The car, according to state police, went onto the southern berm and became airborne before striking a tree. The vehicle then went into a ravine, where it landed on its left side.
Rear-seat passenger Joshua David Wertz, 20, Warfordsburg, was not wearing a seat belt when the crash happened. He was ejected through the rear window of the vehicle and was transported to Meritus Medical Center along with front-seat passenger 22-year-old Warfordsburg resident Travis Michael Shives. Injuries sustained by Wertz and Shives were reported by state police as serious.
Kratz graduated from Hancock High School in 2009. He was employed at JLG Industries in McConnellsburg and also served as a staff member at Sinoquipe Scout Reservation located in Fort Littleton.
Kratz is survived by his parents William T. Kratz Jr. and Sherri A. Swain Kratz of Hancock as well as a brother Bryan W. Kratz. His obituary can be found on page B3 of the “News.”