Snow plow injures custodian

Posted: December 10, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — A Frederick County Public Schools employee accidentally ran over a Sherando High School custodian Monday while plowing snow in the school’s parking lot.

Lt. Warren Gosnell, of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, said Mark Smoot, 53, of Stephens City, was removing snow from the back parking lot of Sherando in a 1997 Ford work truck equipped with a snow blade at about 7:30 a.m.

At the time, Gladys Gibson, 65, also of Stephens City, was scraping ice off of one of three parked cars in the lot.

While the truck was shoveling snow and ice around her, Gibson thought it was going to continue to circle around the lot and so she started walking toward the high school.

She crossed behind the truck, Gosnell said, just as Smoot went into reverse to come back and make another path.

Smoot didn’t see Gibson and struck her with the bumper of the truck, knocking her to the ground — at which point both of her legs were run over.

Gosnell said Smoot heard Gibson and stopped, so that only the rear tires of the truck ran her over.

She was taken to Winchester Medical Center, but Gosnell said the extent of her injuries are unknown.

No charges have been placed in the accident, which is being investigated by Deputy Doug Sardelis.

Smoot is a maintenance technician with the division’s Facilities Services Department, according to Steve Edwards, FCPS coordinator of policy and communications.

“Mrs. Gibson is in our thoughts, and we wish her the best as she begins the recovery process,” he said of the crash. “This was an unfortunate accident that will be reviewed in order to determine what we may be able to do to help assure something similar doesn’t happen again.”

— Contact Melissa Boughton at mboughton@winchesterstar.com