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W.Va. 5-year-old killed in sledding accident

December 19, 2000

W.Va. 5-year-old killed in sledding accident



By BOB PARTLOW / Staff Writer, Martinsburg


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Despite the efforts of the driver who hit them, a 5-year-old boy was killed and another underwent surgery at City Hospital Tuesday night after a car collided with their sled about 1:30 p.m.

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Timothy Lee Moffit, 5, Route 1, Box 188 N, Martinsburg, W.Va., was killed when hit by a car driven by Robert Clopper, 20, also of Martinsburg, said West Virginia State Police Trooper R.A. Spearen II. Police were in the process of notifying next of kin at deadline Tuesday.

Injured was Jeff Alan Butts, 11, who lived on the same street as Moffit. The street is also known as Needmore Loop.

Jeff was taken to surgery Tuesday evening, and was listed in good condition, according to a spokeswoman for the hospital.

Spearen said the boys were sledding in front of the Moffit home when Clopper came around a blind curve and ran into the boys.

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"There was nothing he could do," Spearen said. "There were three inches of snow on the ground and he locked up the brakes and rolled over them." He wasn't charged with any offense, Spearen said.

"In his defense, he got out of the car and lifted it up to roll it off the kids and rolled it down an embankment," Spearen said. "He was just freaked out."

Clopper could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Police in the Eastern Panhandle were busy all day handling a rash of automobile accidents caused by the snow or weather-related incidents such as falling on the slippery ground.

"We've just had an amazing number of cars in the ditch," said a dispatcher at central dispatch in Jefferson County.

Police officers reported many minor accidents due to the snow.

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