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Police log

October 27, 1997

Seat belt saves life of Calif. tourist

FREDERICK, Md. - Wearing a seat belt helped a California tourist walk away from his overturned rental car Sunday morning, according to Maryland State Police.

Steven Goldstone, 42, of San Jose, Calif., was taking the ramp off eastbound Interstate 70 onto Md. 355 when he lost control in the turn, said Trooper 1st Class Ira Click.

Goldstone's 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix first struck the left-hand curb, then crashed into the right-hand curb and flipped over onto the embankment, landing on its roof, Click said.

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Goldstone appeared uninjured from the accident, said Click, who said he dropped him off at a nearby restaurant afterward.

Click credits that to Goldstone wearing a seat belt.

He said about half the fatalities he's seen this year could have been prevented if the person had been wearing a seat belt.

"You get thrown out of that car, that's it," Click said.

In his nine years handling accidents, Click said, he has only seen a few - maybe 1 in 1,000 - in which a person would have been better off not wearing a seat belt.

Goldstone was charged with failure to control speed in dangerous weather and highway conditions, Click said.

Home damaged by chimney fire

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A chimney fire that extended into the ceiling of a home Sunday afternoon caused an estimated $5,000 in damage, according to the Baker Heights Volunteer Fire Co.

Deputy Chief Bill Summers said the fire at 98 Mulberry Trail in the Pikeview Acres subdivision was called in at 4:40 p.m. Firefighters from the South Berkeley Volunteer Fire Co. assisted and the last units left the scene just before 7 p.m.

Summers said there were no injuries. The house was being rented by Stacey Crawford, he said.

Teen charged with assault with pizza

SMITHSBURG - A teenager was charged with assault Saturday night after he allegedly struck a girl with a pizza, the Washington County Sheriff's Department said Sunday.

Deputy Jeff Cooper was patroling the Square of Smithsburg at about 5:45 p.m. when he saw a juvenile throw a Styrofoam cup on the sidewalk. As he approached, he saw the boy throw a hot pizza inside a white box at the girl's face, deputies said.

The girl was not injured by the pizza attack, deputies said.

5 injured when truck, car collide

Five Hagerstown residents were sent to the hospital following a traffic accident on Sunday, Hagerstown City Police said.

A Chevrolet pickup truck appears to have crossed the center line and collided with a Toyota just south of the intersection at Howard Street and Virginia Avenue at about 4:45 p.m., Officer Douglas Hay said.

The driver of the Toyota was Ricky David Burger, 39, and the driver of the Chevy was Johnnie Wayne Biser Jr., 23. Three passengers in the Toyota - Samantha A. Burger, 12, Amanda Burger, 15, and Kathy Stoner, age unavailable - also were injured, Hay said.

All five were taken to Washington County Hospital. Everyone except Stoner was treated and released. Stoner's condition was not known Sunday night, although a hospital spokeswoman said she was stable.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Bond set for man charged in robbery

Preliminary bond was set at $175,000 for a suspect arrested Saturday in connection with a bank robbery last Thursday.

Mervin Edward Brown, 40, of 149 N. Potomac St. Room 426 in Hagerstown, was being held at the Washington County Detention Center Sunday night.

On Saturday, Hagerstown City Police charged Brown with armed robbery, robbery, assault and theft.

Photographs taken by bank security cameras led authorities to Brown, who allegedly robbed the Hagerstown Trust Co. branch at West Side Avenue and Franklin Street.

Man hit by train in serious condition

A man who was run over by a train Saturday afternoon improved to serious condition at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore Sunday night, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Charles Ellsworth Fraizer, 27, of 661 Hayes Ave., was flown to the hospital shortly after he was taken to Washington County Hospital.

The accident occurred on the railroad tracks to the rear of the Farm & Family Center in the Valley Plaza on Massey Boulevard in Hagerstown.

A Winchester Western Railway train struck Fraizer and nearly severed his leg, according to authorities.

Man charged with drug possession

FUNKSTOWN - A Keedysville man was charged with drug possession early Sunday morning, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Clinton Woodrow Roberts, 36, was released by a District Court bond commissioner.

Deputies stopped Roberts shortly after 1 a.m. as he was pushing his bicycle against a bridge and walking away, deputies said.

Roberts allegedly was intoxicated and carrying suspected marijuana, deputies said.

City man charged with assault

A Hagerstown area man was arrested in connection with an assault Saturday, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Steven Vincent Dillinger, 19, of 17952 Garden Lane Apartment 34, was charged with second-degree assault and resisting arrest, deputies said.

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