Stephen Wright, president of the Route 40 Republican Club and a candidate for Harford County Executive in this fall’s election, was killed in a single-car crash on Wheel Road in Bel Air Thursday evening, according to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. Wright, 50, of Churchville, was the sole occupant of a 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee which struck a utility pole along the 500 block of Wheel Road in Bel Air, according to Harford County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Monica Worrell. A preliminary investigation by the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit determined that Wright’s vehicle was traveling southbound on Wheel Road at “a normal rate of speed,” when it went off the right shoulder of the road and struck the pole.
The vehicle’s driver and passenger side airbags deployed, according to the Sheriff’s Office, but “there were no indications the driver was wearing a seatbelt.”
According to Worrell, a 911 call was received at 6:53 p.m., and witnesses began CPR on the scene. Wright was transported from the scene to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center at approximately 7:30 p.m., where he was pronounced dead.
On his Facebook page, “Wright for Harford County Executive,” Wright wrote, “I will be attending the Harford County Right to Life Meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m., at the Abingdon Public Library located at 2510 Tollgate Road, Abingdon, MD. I am pro life, because, in particularly, of the uniqueness, sanctity and value of human life.” It was unclear whether Wright was en route to or from the event. He contacted The Dagger at 6:39 p.m., minutes before the accident, and left a message in which said he had to “duck into a meeting” at 6:45 p.m.
Traffic was detoured on Wheel Road between Laurel Bush Road and Patterson Mill Road for approximately two hours while repairs were made to the utility pole. The office of County Executive David Craig was informed of the situation Thursday evening, and Craig was expected to issue a statement Friday morning, according to his chief of staff, Aaron Tomarchio.
Republican Central Committee of Harford County Chairwoman Kim Wagner praised Wright’s dedication to the party. “I’m absolutely stunned,” Wagner said. “Steve was a very hard worker for the party, he had very strong beliefs and he was a conservative through and through. He was someone who followed through on his beliefs, he’s got a lovely family, I’m going to pray for them tonight.”
County Councilman Dick Slutzky said he had known Wright for more than 25 years. ““I’m sad for [his wife] Krista, his children and his family,” Slutzky said. “It’s a shock, it’s incredible.” SOURCE: The Dagger