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Fatal DUI case heading for grand jury

April 02, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The case against a Martinsburg man involved in a fatal collision was bound over Thursday to Berkeley County Circuit Court for the next term of the grand jury.

David Grove, 45, of 924 S. Raleigh St., did not appear at a preliminary hearing Thursday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court. His attorney, Kevin D. Mills, of Martinsburg, said his client was exercising his right not to be present.

Grove faces two counts of driving under the influence with death and two counts of DUI with injury in the Jan. 25 crash on W.Va. 9 near Hedgesville.

Shelva and Daniel Head, of Hedgesville, died of massive blunt trauma to their upper and lower torsos, said Berkeley County Coroner Sandra Brining.

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The couple's 4-year-old son, Brian Head, and 16-year-old Michelle Pentz, Shelva Head's daughter from a previous marriage, were seriously injured.

According to West Virginia State Police, Grove was driving his 1976 Mercury Cougar east on W.Va. 9 when the car skidded out of control, crossed the center line and struck the Heads' 1992 Chevrolet Cavalier head-on.

Police did not do field sobriety tests or an Intoxilyzer test because Grove was taken to City Hospital in Martinsburg immediately after the crash, Trooper Dean Olack said Thursday.

A blood test taken at the hospital showed a 0.18 blood alcohol level, Olack said. The legal limit in West Virginia is .10.

Grove's attorney said his client was not drunk and challenged the state's evidence because the trooper present during the blood test did not testify.

"He was not intoxicated. He told the officer he was not drinking," Mills said.

Michael Santa Barbara, the attorney for the members of Daniel and Shelva Heads' family, filed a civil suit against Grove and his passenger Robert A. Barrett, 26, of Martinsburg.

Barrett also has filed a civil suit against Grove.

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