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Two killed in crash Sunday in Berkeley County

November 30, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.VA.

A West Virginia State Police trooper searching for a car involved in a single-car crash on Interstate 81 south of Martinsburg early Sunday found a Chrysler PT Cruiser torn in two pieces in the median and the two occupants, both dead, thrown at least 25 yards from the wreckage.

Both women in the car were pronounced dead at the scene and about 12 grams of crack cocaine were found in a purse belonging to one of the women, state police said in a news release.

The victims were identified as Casey Noel Bennett, 24, of 504 Virginia Ave., Martinsburg, and Lakisha Michelle Lockley, 25, address unavailable, of Kearneysville, W.Va., state police said.

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It was unclear who was driving the vehicle, police said.

A witness observed the car traveling southbound at a high rate of speed and then saw it crash, Sgt. T.C. Kearns said Sunday afternoon.

Senior Trooper D.S. See received a call about the wreck at 4:42 a.m. and was told the car might have been around the six-mile marker, the news release said.

See began searching the area and found the PT Cruiser about a mile south of the Tablers Station Road exit in an area of scattered debris, according to the news release and Kearns.

A preliminary investigation shows the car went off the left edge of the road, traveled for about 125 feet and struck a large tree head-on, the release said.

"Senior Trooper See further observed the force of the impact had severed the car into two pieces," the release said.

Bennett was found about 25 yards from the tree and had suffered serious traumatic injuries, the release said.

Lockley was found about 40 yards from the tree, police said.

The purse with the cocaine in it was found near the car, Kearns said.

Kearns declined to say to whom he believes the cocaine belonged and said a separate investigation would be conducted on that matter.

A coroner responded to the scene, and a toxicology report will be conducted to determine if the women were under the influence of any substances, Kearns said.

State police will perform an accident reconstruction study to determine factors like how fast the car was traveling, Kearns said.

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