ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - Businesses on Main Street are trying to pick up the pieces after devastating flooding earlier this summer. But one shop owner lost his life Friday while trying to make repairs to his store.
Howard County police said 67-year-old John Peter Pacylowski Jr. fell from scaffolding in the 8200 block of Main Street at around 3:30 p.m. People in the area believe he may have fallen into a stream that runs behind his store, Precious Gifts.
Preliminarily, police said his death appears to be accidental.
Pacylowski's death comes as Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announced on Friday that business owners on Main Street will have full access to their shops for a 3-day period starting on Sept. 17. Then on Sept. 20, Main Street will reopen to the public.
Neighbors told us Pacylowski, like many other shop owners, was trying to get things in place so he could reopen for business.
“It is devastating to look out and see his building and to see his shop and know he lost his life tonight,” said Jessica Pangborn, who works as a stylist at Ooh La Lal Hair Salon located nearby Precious Gifts. “This is our community, this is our friends, people that we work with. Everybody lost everything. This time on a Friday night, normally there would be people everywhere. There would be so much going on. Such a lively little city. To have it this quiet and this dark, it is just one tragedy after another. It’s really sad.”
Pacylowski’s business has been on Main Street since 1991. People said you can recognize where his store is from a mural painted on side of the building of old Ellicott City.
Neighbors said their hearts go out to his wife and children.