- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A two-car collision Saturday night in Park Hall claimed the life of a Lexington Park teenager who volunteered as a student intern at the St. Mary’s sheriff’s office, and also seriously injured two people in the other vehicle.
Killed in the 8:24 p.m. crash on Route 5 was 17-year-old Tyler Brett Mattingly, who was traveling north on the highway in a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria when he lost control of the vehicle on wet pavement and it veered across the center line into the path of a 2007 Toyota Corolla driven by Lindsay Marie Lague, 20, of Lexington Park, the sheriff’s office reported on Monday.
Mattingly died at the scene from his injuries, and Lague and a passenger in her vehicle, 21-year-old Michael Anthony Dillon of Lexington Park, were flown by a Maryland State Police helicopter crew to the Prince George’s Hospital Center to be treated for what the sheriff’s office described as non-life-threatening injuries. They remained at the hospital Tuesday.
Mattingly, who graduated earlier this year from Great Mills High School, was among a number of high school and college students who volunteer as student interns at the sheriff’s office. Mattingly worked on the agency’s 375th anniversary project, which now involves the compilation of historical information for two books.
“Tyler single-handedly found sheriffs that we did not know about. Tyler uncovered the fact that there were undocumented sheriffs,” current Sheriff Tim Cameron (R) said Tuesday outside his headquarters in Leonardtown. “He was on one of the most elite teams that I have known. They are clearly a cold-case squad of a different nature, ... in a historical arena.”
Cameron said that Mattingly “exhibited character” from the onset of his volunteer work with the sheriff’s office, and he did additional analytical work for the agency and sometimes rode along with sheriff’s deputies.
“His focus was to become a police officer here in St. Mary’s County, and I think he would have been a great one,” the sheriff said. “He had a great passion for what he was doing.”
Grace Mary Brady, the county’s historic preservation planner, said that Mattingly participated in additional research, and that the sheriff’s office anniversary project will be his legacy.
“He was a major contributer. He loved what he was doing,” Brady said, recalling Mattingly’s interest in how the county’s sheriffs were chosen centuries ago and how the laws were enforced. “It fascinated him,” she said. “He had an enthusiasm for this project that was unmatched.”
Mattingly worked for more than two years as a busboy at Linda’s Café in Lexington Park, and most recently was arranging his work schedule to fit in with taking classes this year at the College of Southern Maryland, restaurant owner Linda Palchinsky said Tuesday.
“He was a great kid. I’m devastated,” Palchinsky said. “He came here every day on time, very punctual. He never missed work. He also did prep work in the kitchen. He was famous for making cocktail sauce and tartar sauce. He always did whatever you asked him.”
Speed and weather appear to be contributing factors in Saturday’s collision, sheriff’s deputies report from their preliminary investigation. The sheriff’s office has requested that anyone who may have witnessed the accident contact Cpl. Brian Connelly by calling 301-475-4200, ext. 9010.