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Pa. State Police investigate W.Va.deputy's fatal accident

February 01, 2001

Pa. State Police investigate W.Va.deputy's fatal accident



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania State Police investigation into an accident on Interstate 81 in Franklin County, Pa., that claimed the life of a Berkeley County, W.Va., deputy sheriff continued Thursday.

The accident occurred around 3 p.m. Wednesday north of Exit 3 in Greencastle, Pa., as a car traveling north in the southbound lanes of the interstate smashed head-on into the car in which Burkett and Auxiliary Berkeley County Deputy Joseph L. Miller were transporting a prisoner to West Virginia.

Miller, 58, a transportation officer, was released from Washington County Hospital Thursday.

Gary Lynn Moser, 44, of Waynesboro, Pa., who was being returned to West Virginia to face fraud charges, was listed in good condition Thursday.

Lance S. Parkins, 19, of 151 Sandy Circle in Chambersburg, Pa., whom police identified as the driver of a 1990 Subaru that was headed the wrong way on the interstate, remained in critical condition at the Hagerstown hospital Thursday.

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Police were "doing a complete and thorough investigation," said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Aaron Martin, who had seen the Subaru enter the highway the wrong way. He turned his own car around to follow the Subaru and attempt to catch the driver's attention.

"You just try to get the person's attention in a situation like this and hopefully they see you. I wasn't able to do so," Martin said.

Investigators were trying to determine the speed the cars were going and to find out why Parkins entered the highway in the wrong direction, Martin said.

Following the crash, Martin put out fires in both the police car and the Subaru and attended to the injured.

"Pennsylvania State Police has an excellent training program. All the guys I work with, I have no doubt any one of them would have done what I did," Martin said.

"My first thought was to minimize the damage and make sure nothing else happens. Then I directed my attention to the victims." he said.

The accident happened very quickly, said Trooper Ed Asbury, a spokesman for Pennsylvania State Police.

"There was one car that swerved out of the way. But then (Parkins) got in the left lane and plowed straight ahead into the sheriffs' car," Asbury said. "He was not intentionally trying to get him."

Berkeley County Sheriff Randy Smith said Miller saw the car heading toward them and took evasive action, but to no avail.

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