- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
One man was killed and another man was severely injured in a head-on collision Saturday afternoon on Route 261.
Shirley Thompson, 74, of Chesapeake Beach was pronounced dead and Stephen Clagett, 65, of Chesapeake Beach, who is a retired Calvert County District Court judge, was hospitalized with serious injuries as a result of the accident.
At 1:29 p.m. Saturday, members of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office patrol bureau and crash reconstruction team responded to Route 261 at Bristol Drive for a reported serious car accident, according to a sheriff’s office press release. Police said they found Clagett trapped inside his 2005 Honda Pilot.
Thompson was traveling north on Route 261 when, for unknown reasons, his 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 crossed the double yellow center line and collided with the Honda, driven by Clagett and traveling south on Route 261, the press release states.
Clagett was removed from his vehicle and taken by Maryland State Police helicopter to Prince George’s County Trauma Center with serious injuries. Thompson was taken by ambulance to Calvert Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Clagett retired from his position as district court judge March 1, 2008. He served as a district administrator judge of District 4 of Maryland since 1996, according to previous reports in The Calvert Recorder, and his jurisdiction covered all three Southern Maryland counties. Prior to that, he served as an associate judge for the county, appointed in 1990.
Calvert County Commissioner Susan Shaw (R) said she has known Clagett for “a long time” and believed he was a “very good judge.” She said she felt “horribly sad” when she heard about Saturday’s accident.
“You’re just going about your business one day and all of the sudden everything changes,” Shaw said. “… The bottom line is we all hope he’ll make a full recovery. Calvert County is a wonderful place where [there are] just lots and lots of people praying for him and his family.”
Thompson worked with his brother, Earl, at Thompson Lumber Company in Sunderland, which they later operated together as partners. Thompson retired from the lumber company and then became an entrepreneur who bought, developed and sold property, said Barbara Stinnett, former Calvert County commissioner. Stinnett said she met Thompson when he and his family moved to Maryland from Virginia in 1958.
Thompson had a “laid back appearance,” Stinnett said, but he was a shrewd businessman who understood property and values. She said his personal values mimicked what he did in his work.
Stinnett described Thompson as “a very generous” and personable man.
“Everybody who knew him liked him,” she said. “… There was nothing about him that was mean-spirited. He was just a really likable person.”
Thompson was someone who everyone could call a friend, Stinnett said.
“No matter where you saw him, he had a smile for ya and always a cheery word,” Stinnett said. “You’d leave smiling and he’d leave with a laugh. He is going to really be missed because he made his mark in Calvert.”
Former Calvert County Board of Education member Rose Crunkleton said she could not speak much about Thompson because he was a former client of hers, but said he was “absolutely a wonderful, beautiful person.”
“He was very kind, and it’s such a loss to our community,” she said.
Thompson’s family and friends will be received Thursday, March 7, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Rausch Funeral Home, P.A., 8325 Mt. Harmony Lane, Owings. A celebration of his life will be held Friday, March 8, at 11 a.m. at Huntingtown United Methodist Church. A visitation will also take place Sunday, March 10, from 1 to 2 p.m. at Gardner Funeral Home, 202 East Oxford St., Floyd, VA, 24091, with a funeral service at 2 p.m. Interment will follow in Jacksonville Cemetery in Floyd. Memorial donations may be made to Calvert Elks Lodge 2620, 1015 Dares Beach Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678, or to Calvert Hospice, P.O. Box 838, Prince Frederick, MD 20678, or online at www.calverthospice.org.