7 vehicles involved in I-81 accidents

July 23, 1997


Staff writer, Martinsburg

FALLING WATERS, W.Va. - A Mercersburg, Pa., man was injured Tuesday in the second of two accidents just minutes apart involving a total of seven vehicles on Interstate 81 just south of the Potomac River bridge, according to West Virginia State Police.

Bernard E. Toporzycki, 48, of 2903 Lemar Road, Mercersburg, was listed in fair condition Tuesday evening at Washington County Hospital.

The first accident occurred 11:40 a.m., when a tractor-trailer driven by Paula Adkison, 42, of Albuquerque, N.M., struck the rear of another tractor-trailer driven by Angelina Tulea, 41, of Lilburn, Ga., police said. That rig in turn hit a passenger car driven by Brian Ravert, 42, of Troy, Ohio.

Ravert's car was sandwiched between Tulea's truck and another driven by Brady Meade, 63, of Gore, Va. Despite heavy damage to his car, Ravert was unhurt and had left his vehicle by the time police arrived, Trooper Roger Copson said.


Copson said traffic in the area was stopped or slowed prior to the accident by construction on the bridge. Adkison was charged with following too closely, police said.

The first accident may have contributed to the second one just five minutes later, when Toporzycki's Chevy S-10 pickup rear-ended a station wagon driven by Amos Horst of Sarasota, Fla., forcing it up an embankment, police said.

The pickup then went into the left lane, clipping the rear of a car driven by Sylvia Palmer, 48, of 75 Cardinal Drive, Inwood, W.Va. The impact spun both vehicles around, Trooper Deanna Miller said.

Copson said the accidents caused the northbound lanes of the interstate to be restricted to one lane for about an hour.

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