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Gerrardstown boy killed in collision

April 10, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

BUNKER HILL, W.Va. - A 16-year-old Gerrardstown boy was killed Thursday in a head-on collision on U.S. 11.

West Virginia State Police said Todd Matthew Palmer was driving a 1984 Dodge pickup truck north on U.S. 11 at about 2:04 p.m. when the truck went out of control and swerved into the southbound lane.

The pickup collided with a 1990 GMC Bell-Atlantic service truck driven by Charles Wren, 23, of Boonsboro.

Assistant Chief Richard Petry of the South Berkeley Volunteer Fire Department said emergency workers arrived on the scene about five minutes after the accident.

Palmer's passenger, Jessie Fellers, 21, of Hedgesville, was out of the truck, but emergency crews had to cut off the doors to free Palmer, who was pinned under the dashboard, authorities said.

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Trooper D.E. Boober said it appeared that Palmer and Fellers were not wearing seat belts.

Wren and his passenger, Darrell Crouse, 50, were wearing seat belts and did not require treatment, Boober said.

It's unclear if wet roads or standing water contributed to the accident, police said.

Palmer was taken to Winchester (Va.) Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. He had sustained head injuries, officials said.

Fellers was taken to Martinsburg City Hospital, possibly with a broken or fractured foot, Petry said. He was in satisfactory condition at the hospital Thursday night.

A half-mile section of U.S. 11 was closed for two hours after the accident while hazardous materials crews cleaned up 45 gallons of diesel fuel.

One of the service truck's two 45-gallon fuel tanks leaked. The state Division of Highways dumped three truckloads of sand to absorb it, Petry said.

Baker Heights Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the scene.

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