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Victims of fatal W.Va. wreck identified

January 27, 1998

Victims of fatal W.Va. wreck identified

By DON AINES

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Hedgesville, W.Va., couple returning from a birthday party has been identified by West Virginia State Police as the people killed Sunday night in a head-on collision on W.Va. 9 that left three other people hospitalized.

Daniel Head, 46, and his wife Shelva, 42, were killed on impact in the 8:37 p.m. accident, according to Trooper D.M. Olack. They were taken to City Hospital in Martinsburg, where efforts to resuscitate them were unsuccessful.

Their son Brian Head, 3, and Shelva Head's daughter Michelle Pentz, 16, were both listed in stable condition Monday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

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The driver of the other car, David W. Grove, 45, of 924 S. Raleigh St., Martinsburg, was also in stable condition, the spokeswoman said.

Olack said Grove is under arrest at the hospital. Although he had not been arraigned as of Monday afternoon, the trooper said police have obtained warrants charging him with two counts each of driving under the influence with death and driving under the influence with injuries, and single counts of failure to maintain control of his vehicle, giving false information to police, driving left of center and not wearing a seat belt.

According to Olack, a blood sample was obtained from Grove and was sent to the state police laboratory to determine whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.

Olack said the investigation is still under way and other charges are pending.

The passenger in Grove's car was not injured. Olack said the man, Robert Barrett of Martinsburg, told police he asked Grove to drive him home.

Police said a 1976 Mercury Cougar was traveling east on W.Va. 9 just east of Grapevine Road when it started to run off the roadway, where the right turn lane ended. The driver "then overcompensated his steering while trying to get the vehicle back onto the roadway," police said.

The driver lost control of the car, causing it to go into the westbound lane, hitting the 1992 Chevy Cavalier driven by Daniel Head, police said.

Olack said Brian Head was the only person in the Cavalier wearing a seat belt.

"They had been at a birthday party for a family member in Leesburg (Va.)" when the accident happened, according to Daniel's brother, James Michael Head of Hedgesville.

He said his brother had been driving a tractor-trailer for B&B Trucking in Purcellville, Va., for about a year. Shelva was a housewife.

James Head said Daniel and Shelva had been married about five years. Daniel had a son from a previous marriage living in Oakland, Md., and Shelva had another son living in Leesburg, he said.

Daniel, born and raised in Bayard, W.Va., had lived in the area about 10 years, his brother said.

"They were a pretty close-knit family. They did everything within the family," James Head said.

He said funeral arrangements were incomplete.

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