Boy struck by car dies

April 14, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

GERRARDSTOWN, W.Va. - A 7-year-old boy struck by a car last week near his Gerrardstown home died Saturday at Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va.

Christopher Begeman of Gerrardstown was riding his bicycle at about 7:50 p.m. Wednesday when he was hit on Union Corners Road north of Gerrardstown. He was taken to Martinsburg City Hospital, then flown to Fairfax, authorities said.

West Virginia State Police said he was on life support late last week but died Saturday.

Police charged the driver, Travis Olinger, 19, of Inwood, W.Va., with driving under the influence with injury.

According to court documents, it was Olinger's second DUI charge within 10 days. Police said he was charged with DUI on March 28 in Winchester, Va.

The DUI with injury charge is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to a year in prison. Olinger is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in magistrate court on April 29.


Trooper D.E. Boober said he will speak with the prosecuting attorney's office to determine if the charge will be upgraded to DUI with death, a felony with a one- to 10-year prison sentence if convicted.

Police said Olinger was driving a 1998 Chevrolet Metro northbound on Union Corners Road. The boy was riding a bicycle close to the road's edge when he was struck.

The boy's head hit the right front windshield and he was thrown into a yard, Boober said.

Court documents show Olinger had a 0.063 percent blood alcohol level, which is under the legal limit of 0.10 percent for drivers over 21.

But under West Virginia law, a driver under the legal drinking age can be charged with DUI if he or she has a 0.02 percent blood alcohol level or above.

Olinger has been released from Eastern Regional Jail on $1,067 bond.

The Herald-Mail Articles