U.S. Marine killed when he stopped to help stranded motorist

By Faye Higbee

It was pouring rain on Tuesday night in Thurmont, Maryland. Cpl William Ferrell drove up to a disabled car alongside the road and got out to help the motorist, when a semi or heavy duty truck slammed into his vehicle. It was his last act of service.

A Marine Killed

Cpl Ferrell, 21,  was a U.S.Marine, an infantryman attached to the security detail at Camp David. He graduated from basic training in 2012, and was promoted to Cpl in August of 2014. He was from Carthage, North Carolina.

U.S. Marine

Cpl William “Bill” Ferrell

The incident

Wusa wrote,

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.

Cpl. Ferrell died from his injuries. Police are searching for the truck driver who struck him and fled the scene. They believe it was either a semi-truck or a heavy-duty truck pulling a car trailer. The driver initially stopped about 100 yards from the scene to look, and then got back in his truck and took off.


Significant damage to the Marine’s truck should mean the offender’s truck is also badly damaged- photo credit: Bill Green/Frederick News Post)

Because the driver of the truck hit Cpl Ferrell’s truck so hard, there should be significant damage. Police are searching both in Maryland and Pennsylvania, though his head start since Tuesday will make it difficult to find him. He may have ditched the vehicle as well.

“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. 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.” Col. Benjamin Watson, commanding officer, Marine Barracks Washington, D.C.

Anyone with information should call 301-600-4151.

Semper Fi, Corporal Ferrell, R.I.P.