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RIP, 'Yorkie'

Dan Morse

His mind starting to slip, one thing 85-year-old James Thomas "Yorkie" Yorkshire liked to do was take late-night walks, his nephew recalled Tuesday.

Sometimes the Southern Maryland man would set out looking for people no longer alive. "I was trying to find Momma. Momma lives here," he’d say when someone found him, according to the nephew, James Timothy Yorkshire.

In the darkness of Monday night, according to Maryland State Police, a vehicle struck and killed Yorkshire as he walked on Route 235, a well-traveled artery cutting through St. Mary's County.

Investigators don’t know if he was trying to cross the road or was walking along with traffic, according to a news release. What they do know is that it was about 9 p.m., rain was drizzling and he was wearing dark clothes, according to the release.

Investigators have found no indication the driver was at fault.

James Timothy Yorkshire said his uncle “constantly walked,” often on that road. It was, "for whatever reason, his route of interest,” he said Tuesday.

James Timothy Yorkshire said he will miss his uncle, an Army veteran who, before retiring, had driven a truck for a highway maintenance crew. He lived alone, according to his nephew.

Sometimes Yorkshire’s excursions took him to the yards of strangers.

"Who are you?" they’d ask, but to hear his nephew say it they were quickly disarmed.
"He always had that smile … If you saw him, the first thing you’d see is that smile," James Timothy Yorkshire said.

He said that different people brought him home – neighbors, relatives or police officers.

Cpl. Jeffrey Linger, a state trooper in St. Mary’s County, said it wasn’t uncommon for officers to be called out to check Yorkshire’s welfare, often while he was out walking.

“From my experience, he never created a problem. He didn’t meant any harm,” Linger said.

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  |  December 2, 2009; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse , St. Mary's  
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