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Va. teen dies when he crashes stolen car

November 26, 1997

Va. teen dies when he crashes stolen car

By DON AINES

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Woodstock, Va., teenager was killed early Tuesday when the stolen car he was driving crashed while being chased by a West Virginia State Police trooper.

The 16-year-old boy died in the crash, which occurred shortly after midnight at the end of a 1.3-mile high speed chase with Senior Trooper Carl Mahood, according to the police report.

Authorities would not identify the boy.

"We've decided we aren't going to release that name because he is a juvenile and was involved in the commission of a felony," said Karen Simsen, a media advisor for the state police in Charleston.

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She said the decision not to name the victim was made on the advice of the state police's legal department.

Police said the youth ran a stop light at the intersection of North Queen Street Extended and Eagle School Road. As he was approaching the intersection, the car passed a vehicle by going into the left turn lane. The car then skidded out of control and struck the right front of a rollback tow truck, according to state police.

The report said the boy, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from a 1989 Sterling 827 SL.

The car had been reported stolen Nov. 12 from behind an apartment building in Winchester, Va.

The driver of the truck, Mark W. Greenfield, 23, of Martinsburg, was treated and released from City Hospital in Martinsburg. His passenger, Cynthia Shifflett, 18, of Martinsburg, also was treated and released. The truck was owned by Rick's Towing of 806 E. Moler Ave.

The body of the youth was taken to Brown's Funeral Home, but a spokesman there said he had no information about the boy.

Tuesday morning at the barracks, a trooper said he had just returned from the funeral home where the mother of the boy had gone to identify the body.

State police said the pursuit began at 12:13 a.m. when Mahood was eastbound on W.Va. 9 and saw the Sterling and another car go through a red light at the intersection of Warm Springs Avenue and Industrial Boulevard. Both cars went east on W.Va. 9 as it turns into Edwin Miller Boulevard.

Mahood turned on his lights and drove his cruiser between the two vehicles. The car behind Mahood pulled into the Sheetz store and was not seen again, police said.

Sgt. J.A. Humphrey said police had not been able to determine who was driving the second car.

Police said the other car speeded up and narrowly missed two vehicles it passed in the center turn lane. The pursuit continued to the Eagle School Road intersection, where police said Greenfield attempted to avoid the Sterling as it went out of control.

The report said there was no evidence of drug or alcohol use by the boy.

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