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Thurmont man killed in car crash
 praised by community

Pam Rigaux
The Gazette

(1/2) A Thurmont man who died in a crash Thursday was described as a rock of his community.

Patrick Michael Kolb Jr., 27, was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Carroll Valley Borough, Pa., early Thursday morning.

Kolb's cousin said the family is grieving its loss.

"I'll be sad about (the loss) as the days come by. But he'd tell me you're wasting your time. That's what he'd tell me," Chris Kelly said.

The two men grew up together. They were so close, hardly a day went by without them talking to each other, Kelly said. "Life revolved around my grandmother's house," he said. "We played video games. That was the only reason we stayed inside. We were outside riding bikes, skateboarding. Life wasn't complete without a little dirt on us."

Kolb was well-known by his friends and acquaintances as an avid collector of video games. He was committed to getting every game that was trademarked by Nintendo, and by wheeling and dealing he managed to collect 400 of them, Kelly said.

When their grandfather died a couple years ago, "Patrick grabbed me and said, 'it's up for me and you to be a rock for this family.'"

Kolb's parents split up when he was a baby but Kolb maintained a strong relationship with his father even though his parents weren't together, Kelly said. He had an "undying commitment to the family."

Kolb's commitment extended to the community. The Catoctin High School and Mount St. Mary's University graduate was a member of area veterans groups, a church and a sportsman's club, according to his obituary.

He began volunteering for the Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Co. nearly a year ago, Ambulance Company Chief Eric Stackhouse said.

"Bingo is our biggest fundraiser," Stackhouse said. "As long as his work schedule wouldn't interfere, he'd come in and help. He did anything pretty much from selling ticket jars to working in the kitchen."

Stackhouse was shocked when he heard the news. "It's been rough. Patrick was a great guy," he said.

The Carroll Valley Borough Police Department said in a news release the 2004 GMC Envoy Kolb was driving struck a tree in the 6300 block of the Fairfield Road (Pa. 116) at about 1:35 a.m.

He was traveling westbound on Pa. 116, police said. The Envoy left the road and went up an embankment. Kolb then returned to the road, but crossed over and the Envoy went off the road on the left side and struck a tree broadside.

Kolb was pronounced dead at the scene by the Adams County Coroner's Office.

The crash is under investigation.

Visitation will be held from noon to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Stauffer Funeral Home in Thurmont. A funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Emmitsburg.

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