UPDATE: 22-Year-Old Charlotte Hall Man Succumbs to Injuries Sustained from December Motor Vehicle Collision

December 17, 2020

UPDATE on 1/07/2021: The driver at fault in this crash, Matthew Robert Eppley, 22, of Charlotte Hall, MD, was pronounced deceased yesterday afternoon as a result of the injuries he sustained in the crash. Police have corrected the information released stating the female operator of the Chrysler Pacifica is still being treated at a hospital, and has not been released. The woman who was driving the Pacifica has been released from the hospital.

UPDATE – Charles County Sheriff’s Office Press Release: On December 16, 2020 at 10:23 a.m., officers from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office responded to a motor vehicle crash involving three cars on Trinity Church Road north of Old Sycamore Road in Allens Fresh.

A preliminary investigation revealed the driver of a Ford Mustang was following a Chevrolet Silverado which was traveling north on Trinity Church Road. The initial investigation revealed the driver of the Mustang attempted to pass the Silverado on a stretch of roadway marked by double-yellow lines, a no passing-zone, near the crest of a hill. The driver swerved to avoid striking a Chrysler Pacifica, which was southbound on Trinity Church Road, and struck the Silverado, sending it into a spin. The Mustang re-entered the southbound lane and struck the Pacifica head-on. The driver of the Mustang was trapped and the vehicle caught fire. Cpl. Stephen Miller, an off-duty Charles County Sheriff’s officer, was nearby and used a fire extinguisher to suppress the fire in an effort to protect the driver until emergency fire crews arrived.

The driver of the Mustang, a 22-year-old male of Charlotte Hall, was extricated from his vehicle and flown to a hospital in critical condition. The driver of the Pacifica, a 36-year-old woman from Mechanicsville, suffered critical injuries. The driver of the Silverado, a 35-year-old male from Waldorf suffered injuries which are not life threatening.

Anyone with additional information about this case is asked to call Cpl. T. Hemsley of the Traffic Operations Unit at (301) 609-5903.

The investigation is ongoing.

12/17/2020: Another online news source reported that citizens “used buckets for 20 or 30 minutes until the fire department arrived” to help control a fire at a motor vehicle accident in Charlotte Hall. SMNEWSNET was in the early stages of putting together this article on the incident when we were contacted by several people alerting us of the misinformation.

The Mechanicsville VFD posted on Facebook that, Computer Aided Dispatch times reflect that Squad 2 traveled approximately 9.3 miles and arrived on scene in approximately 11 minutes from being dispatched, not 20 to 30 minutes as rumored. They arrived with 8 personnel. Squad 2 arrived as Dentsville Engine 151 was applying water to the burning vehicle. The audio confirmed what Mechanicsville VFD posted


On Wednesday, December 16, 2020, at approximately 10:26 a.m., police, fire and rescue personnel responded to the area of Trinity Church Road in Charlotte Hall, for the motor vehicle collision reported serious with multiple subjects trapped, and one vehicle on fire.

The first arriving police officer responded from Bowling Drive and arrived on the scene in approximately 5 minutes from the initial dispatch. The Officer found a Ford Mustang in the roadway on fire, with the single occupant severely trapped and unconscious. A second Officer arrived on the scene a short time later and both Officers utilized fire extinguishers in an attempt to control the fire, along with multiple citizens using buckets of water from a nearby residence to help control the flames.

First arriving fire apparatus from Charles County arrived on the scene in approximately 8 minutes and immediately started fire suppression and rapid extrication. Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department Rescue Squad 2 responded in less than one minute after dispatch. They arrived on the scene in under 12 minutes and started extrication on two vehicles with one trapped in each of the vehicles.

Fire and rescue personnel later corrected the information to three vehicles involved in a head-on style collision with one victim trapped in each of the three vehicles. The other two trapped victims were the operators of the pickup truck, and black sedan, both were conscious and alert. The single adult male occupant of the Ford Mustang was unconscious.

The operator of the Mustang was transported to an area hospital with serious injuries.

Police are investigating the collision and we will provide more information when it becomes available.

All photos provided by the Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department,. and the Hughesville Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad.

The audio below includes all radio communications from the Charles County Fire and Rescue Tactical channel, and their “Fire Main” channel where you will hear other calls being dispatched. It includes zero edits and will have large gaps of silence. The audio is all communications starting at 10:25 a.m., to 10:53 a.m.

Photo by Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department.

Photo by Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department.

Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department Squad 2 Route of travel