An old, younger friend of mine passed away today. Adam and a buddy were swimming and drowned. The news articles are included.
Men drown in reservoir
The Shrewsbury men died Thursday at Prettyboy Reservoir in Baltimore County.
By MIKE ARGENTO
Daily Record/Sunday News
Jul 8, 2006 — Two Shrewsbury men drowned Thursday afternoon in the Prettyboy Reservoir in Maryland.
Baltimore County Police identified the men as Justin Smith, 21, of Main Street, and Adam Klank, 22, also of Main Street.
The two were pronounced dead at the scene after their bodies were recovered four hours after they were reported to have disappeared under the water in a cove in the northwest section of the 80-square-mile reservoir about 10 miles south of the Pennsylvania line, west of Interstate 83 in northern Baltimore County.
Lt. Vernon Adamson of the Baltimore County Fire Department said the men were apparently swimming across the 100- to 150-foot-wide cove when one of them had trouble in the middle of the span.
A witness who called 911 told dispatchers that Smith had made it across the cove, but Klank struggled in the middle. Smith returned to try to rescue Klank, but he failed and both men slipped below the surface.
“There seemed to be some kind of struggle,” Adamson said. “They were clinging to each other when they were found.”
A 15-year-old girl who was at the reservoir with Smith and Klunk tried to call 911 with her cell phone, but was unable to get a signal at the shore of the cove, which is at the base of the cliff-like sides of the reservoir. She climbed to the top of the shoreline and was able to call for help, Adamson said.
“The 15-year-old girl did the right thing,” Adamson said, noting that she called for help rather than attempt what most certainly would have been an ill-fated rescue.
Police and fire rescue crews were summoned to the reservoir about 4 p.m. Dive teams searched the reservoir as a helicopter hovered above. About 8 p.m., a member of the helicopter crew spotted a pair of sneakers floating in the cove. Adamson said investigators learned the men had draped their sneakers over their necks when they began the swim.
The bodies were found about 25 feet from the spot where the girl told authorities the men went under.
Swimming is prohibited at the reservoir, which is owned by Baltimore City. Yet, it’s not the first time tragedy has visited the reservoir. In July 2004, three Adams County men drowned when their boat capsized in the reservoir. Boating is also prohibited in the reservoir, which is one of the bodies of water providing water to Baltimore.
· Adam Klank, 22, of Main Street, Shrewsbury
· Justin Smith, 21, of Main Street, Shrewsbury
Drowning victim recalled
Family members said Justin L. Smith often swam where he shouldn’t have.
By JENNIFER NEJMAN
Daily Record/Sunday News
Jul 11, 2006 —
Justin L. Smith was a “bird,” family members said.
The 21-year-old wore mohawks in black, red, blond, purple and blue.
He had the words “your name” tattooed on one of his butt cheeks, just to be funny. Smith would go around telling people, I bet I have “your name” tattooed on my butt. They wouldn’t believe him. Then, he’d pull down his pants, family members said.
Often, Smith swam at Prettyboy Reservoir in northern Baltimore County, Md. He drowned there Thursday.
A witness who called 911 told dispatchers Smith had made it across the 100- to 150-foot-wide cove, but returned to help his friend, Adam Paul Klank, 22, of Shrewsbury, who was struggling in the water.
They were clinging to each other when their bodies were found, Lt. Vernon Adamson of Baltimore County Fire Department said.
“Justin would not stand there,” said his father Robert Smith Jr., 38, of Dallastown. “It hurts that we lost Justin, but on the other hand, I know Justin wouldn’t have been able to live with himself if he didn’t do anything.”
Family members identified Justin’s body by his tattoos – the deer on his arm, switchblade on his wrist and “your name” words; they were not allowed to see his body, Robert Smith said.
Adam Klank’s family could not be reached for comment Monday.
Justin attended Red Lion Area School District and then Hereford High School in Maryland.
He dropped out at 18. School officials had told him he needed to complete another year. He would say he was going to get his G.E.D., but never did, Robert Smith said.
He worked for a fencing and decking company. He rode his bicycle to work because he had lost his driver’s license for too many speeding tickets and was in the process of getting it back, his father said.
He loved his longtime girlfriend, Sally Jo Kelley, 21, of Manchester, Md. He loved hunting and fishing. He loved punk music and summer concerts.
Eight months ago, Justin and his younger sister, Nicky Smith, 20, started living together in Railroad. He was messy, but sometimes he would cook up steak and potatoes for Nicky when she returned from her job cutting and styling hair.
If she got upset at him, he tickled her until she wasn’t angry anymore. Justin went to the Prettyboy Reservoir, which is only a 15-minute drive from their home, at least three times a week, Nicky Smith said.
One time seeing the cops was enough for Nicky Smith; she ran back to the car and never returned. Swimming is prohibited at the reservoir.
“The week before he got run out by the cops,” Robert Smith said.
“I think that’s what made him go down there,” Nicky Smith said.
He was the kind of person that, if the water wasn’t deep or challenging enough, he’d throw rocks in, she said.
Justin Smith swam all the places he was not supposed to: the Delta quarry, Otter Creek’s waterfall and parts of Muddy Creek, she said.
He even knew Jeremy Schell, 19, of Dallastown, who drowned while swimming in the quarry waters July 2, 2000. Even that did not stop him, said his brother, Robert W. Smith III of Parkton, Md.
His girlfriend, Sally Jo Kelley, told Justin not to swim at the reservoir. “You don’t want to do that – trust me, something happens every season,” she told him.
Monday, she said she doesn’t know what she’s feeling, mostly denial, she said.
They had dated for six years. She knew Justin was the one she wanted to be with. But she didn’t want to rush things. Because of their job schedules, they mostly hung out on weekends.
They had plans to get married, have children. She wanted to wait until they had more money, until she was ready.
The last day they had together was July 4th. They stayed in bed all day and watched movies. This past Saturday, her family held a birthday party for her 9-year-old brother, who Justin was close to, she said.
Justin should have been at the party.
Since Justin’s death, everywhere Kelley looks, anything that happens, it twists the wrong way, she said.
Memories, milestones comfort friends, family
Two young men drowned last week in Md. reservoir
KATHY STEVENS The York Dispatch
They’d known each other since before kindergarten.
Josh Byrley and Adam Klank fought over best friends in third grade, but not girls. They played soccer together and rode on the same school bus until they were old enough to drive.
And the 22-year-olds got their first apartment together, a two-bedroom on Main Street in Railroad where they’d spent the past year enjoying the freedoms of adulthood.
Surrounded by memories: Byrley sat on Klank’s bed yesterday afternoon, talking about Klank and Justin Smith, 21, both of whom drowned Thursday in Prettyboy Reservoir in Maryland.
The two men had driven to the reservoir just south of the Pennsylvania line in Baltimore County that afternoon, one of many trips Klank had made in recent months, Byrley said.
Byrley said one of Klank’s legs was injured from a previous fall, but he jumped into the water anyhow.
When Smith realized Klank was in trouble, Smith attempted to save him.
“Justin (Smith) jumped in, not even thinking,” Byrley said. “(Recovery workers) found them huddled together.”
Byrley was at work in a Maryland metal factory when a friend told him of the drowning. They drove to the reservoir and saw police cruisers and fire trucks and ambulances.
The men were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Maryland Medical Examiner’s Office.
Inside Klank’s room, decorative twinkle lights hung above the bed. A book of Oscar Wilde poems sat on a window ledge beside the bed. Shopping bags adorned with young women’s faces covered one wall; the faces of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley and all four Beatles were present in poster form. Mountain climbing spikes and wooden skies hung on separate walls.
Some 20 jackets from corduroy to canvas hung in his closet. “The Newsies,” a 1992 Disney musical, was a favorite of Klank’s. He liked off-the-beaten-path flicks such as the original version of “Pride and Prejudice,” said Klank’s father, Sterling Klank.
Byrley didn’t know Smith as well, but described him as a “no-nonsense” guy who liked basketball.
“We once walked the entire length of a railroad trail without touching the path,” Byrley said. “And that was after playing basketball for hours.”
Smith worked at a fence and decking company in Parkton, Md. He was one of three children. His parents, Robert W. Smith Jr., of Dallastown, and Wanneebee “Sue” M. Brown Smith, of Parkton, could not be reached for comment.
Klank was an outdoorsy type, something that likely stemmed from family trips to Alaska, Colorado, Arizona, Utah and Hawaii, among others.
A father’s love: Sterling Klank, reached yesterday at the family’s Glenville home, said he, his wife, Brenda, and their daughter Emily had spent the morning watching videos of Klank, of adventures they’d had.
Klank had seen his son a few days before his death, when he’d delivered some mail to the apartment in Railroad.
“It was just a mundane visit,” Klank said about the visit. “I just saw him briefly.”
Adam Klank graduated from New Freedom Christian School and had been working as a caregiver to autistic adults.
“He had a way with older people, senior citizens,” Sterling Klank said. “They were just drawn to him, somehow. He was very respectful of them, of everyone.”
They, like Byrley, readied to pay respects to their son at a viewing yesterday in Timonium, Md. The memorial service was to be held this afternoon at Lemmon Funeral Home of Dulaney Valley. Klank was to be buried afterward.
“He had a gentle soul, a gentle nature,” Sterling Klank said. “At least we have a lot of positive memories, but I’m going to miss him.”
— Reach Kathy Stevens at 505-5437 or [email protected]
A viewing for Justin Smith, 21, of Railroad, formerly of Red Lion, is 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow at Burg Funeral Home, 134 W. Broadway in Red Lion. The funeral home also hosts the memorial service at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Burial follows at the Lebanon Lutheran Cemetery in Felton.
Klank, Adam Paul
Adam Paul Klank, 22, died Thursday, July 6, 2006. He was the loving son of Sterling and Brenda Klank of Glenville. Adam was the cherished grandson of Earl and Ramona Heist of Glen Rock, Richard Klank of Baltimore, Md., and Barbara Wright of Baltimore, Md.; the beloved brother of Emily Klank of Glenville; dear nephew of Lee and Deborah Steelwright and Terry Wright, both of Baltimore, Kenneth and Darlene Crowl of York, Stephen and Karen Propalis of Glen Rock, David and Carolyn Propalis of Glenville, Steve and Miriam Palandati of Owings Mills, Md., and Aaron Heist of Glen Rock; cousin of Michelle of Glen Rock, Katelyn of Baltimore, Stephanie of Glen Rock, Justin of York, Jonathan of Glen Rock, Lindsay and Philip of Glenville, and Caitlin, Joanna, Ruth, Seth, Paul, Sarah, and Sophia, all of Owings Mills, Md. The family will receive friends at the Lemmon Funeral Home of Dulaney Valley, Inc., 10 W. Padonia Road (at York Road), Timonium, Md., on Sunday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. A funeral service will be celebrated at the funeral home Monday, July 10, 2006, at 1 p.m. Interment will be in Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.