The shoes of a man who died after ramming his car into a train in Union Bridge were being sent last night to a state medical examiner, who will analyze them to determine whether, as police believe, the crash was an attempted double suicide.
As he sped toward the stopped freight train Monday afternoon, Edward E. Stultz, 40, pressed down on the gas pedal with such force that it left an imprint on the bottom of his right shoe, said Michael McKelvin, a state police spokesman.
"We're sending both the brake and gas pedals to the medical examiner. We believe the imprint has the same lines and the same tread as the gas pedal," Mr. McKelvin said.
Mr. Stultz left a suicide note in the car, signed by both him and his friend, John M. Curran, 32, police said. Mr. Curran was in the passenger seat and was seriously injured.
From his hospital bed at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, Mr. Curran said he didn't feel up to answering questions, saying only, "He [Mr. Stultz] was my best friend, my closest friend."
The two men were both longtime residents of the small northwest Carroll County town. Both were unemployed and lived together in a small house on Main Street, said Mr. Curran's father, William Curran, who also lives there.
"This whole thing is a damn shame," William Curran said. "I just don't know what to think."
Witnesses reported that the car, a Pontiac T-1000, was going about 50 mph when it slammed into the train at Lehigh Portland Cement Co., just around the corner from the men's house.
Moments before impact, the car -- traveling south on Farquhar Street -- flew into the air and struck the engine, police said. The locomotive was running but the train was stopped. No one on the train was injured.
Mario F. Golle, an assistant state medical examiner, said he cannot make a determination on Mr. Stultz's cause of death until he gets more information.
"Right now I'm calling it undetermined," Dr. Golle said. "I need to see something more tangible before I can make a ruling."
Police investigators expected to interview Mr. Curran today or tomorrow to get his account of the incident. It does not appear that he attempted to stop Mr. Stultz from crashing into the train, police said.
Distraught families of both men would discuss little of their past yesterday.
Mr. Stultz graduated from Francis Scott Key High School in 1972 and served four years in the 101st Airborne Division of the Army at Fort Campbell, Ky. On his return, he worked briefly at Random House in Westminster before working odd jobs.
Cinda Gump, who witnessed the accident, once had worked at Wilks Precision Instruments with Mr. Stultz for a few months. She said the two men seemed to be each other's only friends.
"They had each other," Ms. Gump said. "It was always the two of them."