Official says teen was drinking prior to death

November 15, 1999|By DON AINES

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - An investigation into the death a 16-year-old boy run over twice Sunday night in Waynesboro indicates that he had been drinking, according to a prosecutor with the Franklin County District Attorney's Office.

Seth Warford, of 216 W. Fourth St., was seen lying in the northbound lane of South Potomac Street before he was struck by two cars at approximately 7:05 p.m., according to the Waynesboro Police Department report.

He was pronounced dead at 7:34 p.m. at Waynesboro Hospital, according to Chief Deputy Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner.

"It's believed he was intoxicated and they are trying to focus on who supplied him the alcohol," Assistant District Attorney David W. Rahauser said Monday. He met with a Waynesboro Police Department officer who told him that Warford and a 15-year-old girl had been drinking grain alcohol before the accident.

Rahauser said the Waynesboro officer met with him "to discuss how to proceed with certain aspects of the investigation ... different avenues to pursue in terms of developing evidence."


Rahauser indicated police had leads about where Warford got the alcohol.

Conner said a preliminary blood alcohol content test was performed at Waynesboro Hospital and "it did indicate he was above the limit" for being under the influence.

Conner said an autopsy performed Monday at Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown, Pa., showed the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head.

Conner said there was no evidence of any injuries that could have occurred before Warford was hit by the cars. He said results from toxicology tests to reveal his blood-alcohol content, or any drugs in his system, will not be available for two to three weeks.

The accident happened in the area of the Fourth Street intersection, according to police. Julie Miller, of 9246 Five Forks Road, Waynesboro, was driving a 1990 Chevy Caprice north, but did not see Warford lying in the street until it was too late, police said. The report said her car went about 70 feet after hitting Warford before it could stop.

Miller got out of her car, ran back and tried to flag down another car, but it, too, struck Warford. That car, a station wagon, was driven by Daniel Noll, of 107 W. Main St., police said. His car went 50 feet after hitting Warford, the report said.

Conner said another motorist saw Warford lying in the road before he was hit. Conner, who said he could not release the man's name, said the driver stopped and tried to wave off northbound traffic.

Waynesboro Police Chief Glenn Phenicie was out of his office much of Monday. A department employee said he had nothing additional to release about the investigation.

Waynesboro Ambulance and Medic II Advanced Life Support personnel worked to save Warford and took him to the hospital, police said.

Jamie Eichelberger, 15, of Waynesboro, was friends with Warford. She said she met him last summer and had dated him a while. They had since broken up.

"I saw him Friday night at my house," the Waynesboro High School ninth-grader said. He came to the house with friends, including the girl authorities believe he had been with before the accident, Eichelberger said, adding that she noticed nothing unusual during the hour-long visit.

Eichelberger said she didn't think Warford, a 10th-grader, was dating the girl, but, "They liked to do things together."

"He liked everybody and everybody liked him," she said.

Warford lived with his mother. She could not be reached for comment Monday.

Waynesboro High School Principal Larry Bricker said additional counselors were brought in to the school Monday to help students deal with the tragedy. About two dozen students met with counselors and one or two were sent home with their parents because of problems dealing with Wardford's death, he said.

"That's standard procedure in our school and throughout Franklin County, as part of our Student Assistance Program," he said. Bricker said he spoke with Warford's brother by telephone.

Funeral arrangements are by Grove Funeral Home in Waynesboro, but the funeral director had not met with the family as of Monday evening, according to the spokeswoman for the home.

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