BERLIN – It was a solemn
first day back to school for Stephen Decatur High School students this week,
many of whom took time away from campus to attend funeral services for one of
their classmates tragically killed in a single vehicle accident on Route 50
last Thursday just days before the start of a new school year.
stuffed animals, a religious cross and other mementos this week marked the site
of the accident on Route 50 just east of Route 589 early last Thursday morning.
Around 1 a.m. last Thursday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a
reported fatal motor vehicle accident on Route 50.
Upon arrival on the
scene, troopers interviewed a witness who told them the driver of the 2002 Ford
Explorer, later identified as Jessica Lauren Petsche, 17, of Berlin, had
swerved, left the roadway and rolled over multiple times. The investigation
revealed Petsche had just completed work at her job for the night and was on
her way home at the time of the accident.
News of the accident
stunned the entire community around Decatur,
where Petsche was a member of the National Honor Society. She was also a
competitive gymnast and was a member of the school’s varsity cheerleading and
Services were held on
Tuesday at her home parish at St. John Neuman Catholic Church in Ocean Pines.
There are currently two sources to which friends and family can make donations.
The first is the Jessica Petsche Memorial Fund, care of Stephen Decatur
High School, 9913 Seahawk Rd., Berlin,
The other is being
handled by Twisters Gymnastics in Berlin
where Petsche trained and competed. Donations can be made at Twisters
Gymnastics in Berlin
or at the Farmer’s Bank in Willards.