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Man killed in Washington County auto accident

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Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 3:00 p.m.

A volunteer firefighter responding to a report of a fatal accident in Hanover discovered that the victim was his brother-in-law.

Frederick Speers III, 53, of Burgettstown lost control of his Jeep while driving north on Purdy Road in Hanover when he drove off the road Friday night, according to Washington County Coroner Timothy Warco. Speers' vehicle hit a tree, rolled down an embankment and into a creek.

Victor Wright, a member of the Hanover Volunteer Fire Department, was among those firefighters responding to the crash.

Wright identified Speers, who is his brother-in-law.

“When we heard the location, I had a gut feeling it could be him,” said Wright, who is 65 and has been a volunteer firefighter for 18 years.

“I've seen too much of this over the years. But you never want to come onto one of your relatives,” he said.

Speers worked for Wright's well and pool service company. Speers was the father of five children.

Firefighters and police had to break into the car, where they found Speers dead.

The cause and manner of death are pending autopsy results.

The crash was discovered by a passing FedEx truck about 9 a.m., Warco said.

Speers was alone in the vehicle.

State police are investigating.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at

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