Posted on Apr 22, 2013

A head-on car collision on Kent Island killed four teenage boys on Wednesday, April 10. The Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating the cause of the horrific crash.

Cory Pessagno, 18 years old and a resident of Chester, was behind the wheel of a four-door Volkswagen that was traveling along Cox Neck Road in Chester around 4:15 p.m. when the accident happened. As the Volkswagen went around a curve, Pessagno apparently lost control of the vehicle.

He started to go off the right side of the road, then overcompensated and crossed the dividing line into oncoming traffic. He crashed head-on into a Ford Focus driven by 73-year-old Eli Dabich Jr., a resident of Cox Neck Road.

A retired nurse who witnessed the crash immediately tried to assist the victims but could not find a pulse on any of the young men in the Volkswagen.

Pessagno and his three passengers all died in the crash. His passengers were 19-year-old Michael John Ringenbach of Stevensville, 18-year-old Harrison Rhodes Smith of Chester and 19-year-old Tyler Elzey of Chester.

Ringenbach was a firefighter for the Kent Island Fire Department, and some of his colleagues were first responders to the scene of the accident. One bystander witnessed two of Ringenbach’s fellow firefighters break into tears when they discovered that he was involved in the wreck.

Dabich was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore for treatment of injuries.

The Sheriff’s Department is conducting a thorough investigation into the Maryland auto accident. Preliminary evidence shows that speed was a likely factor in the accident.

The crash comes only two weeks after a fatal car accident claimed the lives of three more teens on Easter Sunday. The Southern Maryland accident lawyers of Nickelsporn & Lundin express our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of these young people.

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