JARRETTSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) -- The Maryland National Guard is mourning the loss of a guardsman killed in a crash in Harford County over the weekend.
"It's with a very heavy heart that we announce the loss of one of our own," MDNG posted to social media Thursday.
According to the Harford County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to the 3900 block of Old Federal Hill Road in Jarrettsville for a report of a crash at 5:34 p.m. on Sunday. They found a single-vehicle crash with two occupants inside. The vehicle was engulfed in flames.
Spc. Joseph Lee DePasquale, 35, of Annapolis was declared dead at the scene. A 14-year-old passenger was flown to Johns Hopkins Pediatric Emergency Department for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
The sheriff's office believes DePasquale was traveling eastbound on Old Federal Hill Road in a 2017 Ford Expedition when the vehicle ran off the road, struck a tree trunk and caught fire.
A neighbor heard the crash and rushed to help. That person broke the car window and pulled the teen to safety before the Ford caught fire.
Preliminary evidence suggests excessive speed may have been a contributing factor of the crash, the sheriff's office said. It is also unclear if DePasquale was wearing a seatbelt, authorities said.Co. 1st Battalion
DePasquale came to the Maryland National Guard in October 2014. According to officials, he served as an infantryman assigned to C Co 175th Infantry Regiment.
He was among the guardsman who helped with the state's COVID-19 response.
"Through his military service, he earned the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and the Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon," the Maryland National Guard said in a press release.
"Spc. Joseph DePasquale epitomized the optimism, dedication, and fraternity that turns a group of men into a band of brothers," said Capt. Bradley S. Dmuchowski, commander for C Co., 1-175 Inf. Regt. "His commitment and love for his family, his unit, and his community made him the ideal Guardsman. DePasquale was always the first to volunteer and did so happily. While he cannot be replaced as an individual, his positive impact on the world around him will continue to affect positive change long after he's gone. He will be missed by his entire 175th Infantry family, but he will never be forgotten."
Anyone who may have witnessed the crash, or has any information regarding the incident, is asked to call the Harford County Sheriff's Office Traffic Unit at 443-409-3324
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