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Father faces own challenges after son's death

November 30, 1999|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. ? Since his 16-year-old son's death in a vehicle accident last summer, John P. McClurg has been forced to fend off a few challenges in his own life in his struggle to overcome the tragedy.

About a month after Brian Allen McClurg was killed on Aug. 9, 2006, his son's birthday, McClurg said he was diagnosed with cancer.

On New Year's Eve, he had a stroke and lost his ability to speak for a while, but now feels fully recovered.

"There's just been so much going on," said McClurg, who still hopes to establish a scholarship in memory of his son and his love for music.

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"I do want to get something like that set up," said McClurg, 63.

On Wednesday, the driver of the vehicle his son was riding in when it crashed into two trees off Welltown Road was arraigned on charges of negligent homicide, failure to maintain control and reckless driving, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Joshua Delano Sealock, 20, of 67 Domino Court in Martinsburg, was released on a $11,600 personal recognizance bond set by Magistrate Jo Ann Overington in an arraignment hearing. A preliminary hearing had not been scheduled as of Friday afternoon. In arraignment documents, Overington cited the defendant's medical disability, which apparently was received from the accident.

According to records filed with the court by Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Deputy Steven Crites, the accident happened in the 600 block of Welltown Road after Sealock's car crested a hill. When Sealock lost control of the vehicle, it crossed the centerline of the road and struck the trees, Crites said.

Crites later learned that occupants in another vehicle had thrown eggs earlier at Sealock and others who were at a party at 1005 Welltown Road.

The alleged egg-throwing incident caused Sealock to get in his car and chase after the vehicle. In addition to McClurg's death, Sealock and passengers Austin Ferguson, Ryan Smallwood and Michael Butts were injured, Crites said.

McClurg's older brother, Sean McClurg, was at the party, according to information Crites received from a witness.

"Sean's the one that's really having a hard time with it," John P. McClurg said. "He and Brian were really close."

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