Two Carroll County men who rammed their car into a parked train, killing one of them and seriously injuring the other, wrote in a co-signed suicide note that they were HIV positive after repeatedly using intravenous drugs, sources close to the investigation said yesterday.
In the note, found in the mangled Pontiac T-1000 car, Edward E. Stultz, 40, and John M. Curran, 32, apologized to family members for trouble they caused because of their drug use, the sources said.
Mr. Stultz, the driver, was killed immediately in Monday afternoon's crash at the Lehigh Portland Cement Co. in Union Bridge. Mr. Curran was in fair condition yesterday at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
In a brief interview, Mr. Curran denied being HIV positive and refused to discuss the note. "It's private. Let it go, please," Mr. Curran said.
The note was used as the basis yesterday for ruling Mr. Stultz' death as a suicide. Dr. Mario F. Golle Jr., an assistant state medical examiner, had previously listed the cause of death as "undetermined" but changed it to "suicide" after seeing the note.
Both police and Dr. Golle said the note was signed by both men.
The car was going about 50 mph when it struck the front of the freight train, which was stopped while workers loaded cement. According to state police, rescue workers from the Union Bridge volunteer fire company were alerted by radio to take precautions not to come in contact with bodily fluids.
Mr. Stultz and Mr. Curran, both lifelong residents of Union Bridge, lived together in a house on Main Street about a quarter-mile from the crash. Both men were unemployed.
Police said they also determined that Mr. Stultz had his foot pressed down on the gas pedal with such force that it left an imprint on the bottom of his right shoe. His shoes were to be sent to the state medical examiner as evidence of suicide, but Dr. Golle said yesterday he didn't need any other evidence than the note.
Townspeople who knew the two men said they had been best friends for several years, but relatives of both families refused to comment about either man's past.