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W.Va. officers cleared of responsibility in chase death

March 07, 1997

The jury in a wrongful death suit ruled Friday not to hold the City of Martinsburg and two city police officers responsible for a fatal collision that occurred during a high-speed police chase in 1993.

The chase, which involved Officers John Orem and William Brandenburg, ended when the car they were pursuing on U.S. 11 crashed head-on into another car, killing its driver, Henry Lee White.

John H. White filed the wrongful death suit almost a year after his son's Aug. 26 death. White is administrator of his son's estate.

Police were chasing a Capon Bridge man suspected of causing trouble at a bar on South Queen Street in Martinsburg.

Forrest Grady III was convicted in 1994 of driving under the influence in which a death was involved.

The White estate contended that the pursuit of Grady on a dark road that night was uncalled for under the circumstances.

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