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Friends, acquaintances recall victims killed in Street crash

Friends, acquaintances and co-workers are remembering the three young Harford County residents killed in a horrific crash in Street late Saturday night that also left two other occupants of the same vehicle seriously injured.

People gathered in waves Monday afternoon next to a creek at Mill Green Road, near the Prospect Road intersection, where the 2008 Mazda3, driven by Tyler Anderson, ended up in two pieces.

Mr. Anderson, who had just turned 21, died in the crash, as did passengers Shawn Ponton, 21, of Jarrettsville, and Alexzandria McDowell, 20, of Street. The other two passengers, Theresa Owensby, 19, of Bel Air, and David Clark, 21, of Street, remain hospitalized at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where as of Monday evening their conditions were listed as critical but stable.

Parts from the car remained near the fence where two small wooden crosses were set up and other mementos were left by grieving visitors. One of the crosses had several disc golf discs, a game friends said Mr. Anderson actively played.

A neighbor on Mill Green Road, who said he was asleep when the crash happened, noted the site had gotten hundreds of visitors since the accident.

Visitors wrote messages to the victims on the fence, and a third disc had a note promising, "All Shall Be Remembered."

"Every disc we throw, we throw for you," the disc also read.

One of those who stopped by, Todd Burnett, of Abingdon, recalled Mr. Anderson as "the most phenomenal guy you have ever met."

Burnett, who worked in an auto shop, said he knew Mr. Anderson from when he came in to work on his car, something he spent a lot of time on.

"[Mr. Anderson] always put me in a good mood when he came in, very upbeat," Burnett said. "[This is] just an absolute tragic loss, because he was so full of love and life and cared about everybody."

Burnett said the entire crash was a tragedy.

"Everybody was so young and if they hung out with [Mr. Anderson], they were great people," he noted.

All three who died were graduates of North Harford High School. Mr. Anderson and Mr. Ponton finished school in 2009 and Ms. McDowell in 2010. Clark, one of the injured, also graduated from North Harford in 2009. Owensby graduated from C. Milton Wright High School in 2011, according to school system records.

One of Ms. McDowell's former middle school classmates, 19-year-old Kari Six, of Pylesville, also stopped by the memorial site Monday. She said she also knew Mr. Ponton in high school as well.

"[Ms. McDowell] was my best friend throughout middle school," Six said. "She was just so full of life, so happy. She was a great artist and soccer player."

When she heard of the crash, "I just cried, just shocked," Six said.

Mr. Anderson worked for the last two years as kennel manager at Jarrettsville Vet Center, owned by Joe McCollum.

McCollum recalled Mr. Anderson as "probably one of the hardest workers here," who cared about the animals he oversaw.

McCollum said Mr. Anderson also cared about his car and his dog, a Chihuahua.

"I know he took great pride in his car, the one that was wrecked. He was always doing something to [the car], some kind of new attachment," McCollum remembered. "He had a pet dog that would ride around in the front seat and he wouldn't let anyone else sit in the front seat."

"He was a delightful person to be around. He took great pride in his job. All of our customers loved him to death," he said of Anderson. "He did little things like when his clients were on vacation, he would send them text messages with photos of their pets playing out in the yard."

"He was just a super-nice young fellow," McCollum said. "He was a very responsible person and a person that you could rely on and trust."

Mr. Ponton played volleyball on a local team that met at Jarrettsville Elementary School, recalled Paul Schoen, of Cockeysville, who was also on the team several years ago.

"He seemed like a really good kid. I kind of liked him," Schoen said, noting that his mother is also active with the team. "I know he really enjoyed volleyball and I know he played at North Harford."

When he heard about the accident, Schoen said, "I was really quite shocked."

One friend posted on Twitter Sunday, "You were a great friend, person, and suite mate. I'm glad I got the chance to have met you and to have been your friend R.I.P. Shawn Ponton."

Christina Leber posted a photo of herself with Mr. Ponton and wrote, "You could have changed the world Shawn Ponton. You're sense of humor and dedication to helping will always be in my heart."

On the Jarrettsville Vet Center Facebook page, the business posted Sunday: "We lost a member of our family today and we will be forever changed and heartbroken about our dear friend Tyler. He was always a smiling face and warm heart and a compassionate generous soul. We love you more than words and we are forever saddened. We miss you and we love you." And, on Monday, they posted again: "We will miss you, Tyler."

Missy Patton Baldauf commented, "I'm so sorry for your loss....how devastating..." Zac Lazarus also commented, "Tyler will be missed and may he rest in peace."

As of noon Monday, 103 people liked the heartfelt post from Sunday and 28 people left comments, most leaving their condolences.

Diana Miller wrote, "I'll miss Tyler so much. He was so loving to Dutch and he liked to scold me for spoiling him too much! The world lost a kind and gentle soul. Our hearts are broken for his family."

Kelly Marchand Furgason posted, "What a very sad loss, barely knew Tyler but he was always so friendly, smiling and I enjoyed talking to him each time I saw him. Rest in peace Tyler, prayers and thoughts to everyone who knew him, his family and friends."

Check back with http://www.exploreharford.com for updates and funeral information.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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