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Posted at 2:34 PM ET, 09/ 6/2010

Three dead in crash near Front Royal

By Mike McPhate

Three Purcellville residents were killed and four others were injured in a single-car crash on Route 55 near Front Royal on Sunday afternoon.

An SUV carrying seven people was heading eastbound on the Virginia highway at about 2 p.m. when driver Robert Frederick Louer, 65, ran off the side of the road, over-corrected and drove over an embankment and into a tree, said Virginia State Police Sgt. Les Tyler. Everyone in the vehicle was wearing seat belts, and alcohol was not a factor, Tyler said.

Those killed included Edward E. "Ted" Nichols III, 64, who helped run whose grandfather founded Nichols Hardware, a family-owned store in downtown Purcellville that is a local landmark. Also killed were his wife Karen Nichols, 63, and Dorris Degraw Louer, 90, both of Purcellville.

Passengers Marilyn F. Louer, 62, and Cynthia Louer Fusselle, 51, were flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital. The driver, Robert Louer of Florida, and passenger David Louer, 71, were taken to a local hospital.

Sunday's crash was the second major tragedy for the Nichols family in just three years. In September 2007, Nichols' father, Edward E. Nichols Jr., apparently killed his wife, Margaret H. Nichols, and then killed himself in their Loudoun County home. Edward Nichols Jr. ran the family hardware store for years and also was a member of the Town Council. Relatives said at the time that the couple, both 87, had struggled with health issues: She had Alzheimer's disease and he was losing his sight.

Following the deaths, Ted Nichols and his uncle, Ken Nichols, took over ownership and management of the family store, according to the Loudoun Times.

-- Jenna Johnson

By Mike McPhate  | September 6, 2010; 2:34 PM ET
Categories:  Traffic and Transportation, Virginia  
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Comments

I know the good Lord will bless each and every member of this Family. As we all know, everyone goes through something in this life, the rewards in heaven will be waiting for them.

Posted by: wonder4real | September 6, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I know the good Lord will bless each and every member of this Family. As we all know, everyone goes through something in this life, the rewards in heaven will be waiting for them.

Posted by: wonder4real | September 6, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

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