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Investigation continues into crash that killed deputy

February 19, 2001

Investigation continues into crash that killed deputy



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania man involved in a crash on Interstate 81 in Pennsylvania that claimed the life of a West Virginia deputy last month has a mental deficiency, Pennsylvania State Police said medical information shows.

"Medical and other documentation reveals a mental deficiency in Lance Parkins," Trooper G.M. Goodyear said Monday.

The information was based on a November 1999 mental health evaluation of Parkins, according to Goodyear.

Goodyear said he planned to serve additional search warrants this week to obtain further information on Parkins mental condition and whether it figures into the investigation of the Jan. 31 crash.

Parkins, 19, of 151 Sandy Circle in Chambersburg, was listed in fair condition Monday at Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown. He has been in a coma since the accident and had not regained consciousness, Goodyear said.

Parkins entered the interstate at Exit 3 in Greencastle headed north in the southbound lane, at around 3 p.m. on Jan. 31, police have alleged.

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The Subaru Parkins was driving crashed head-on with a Berkeley County, W.Va., Sheriff's Department cruiser, according to police. Berkeley County Sheriff's Deputy John Lewis Burkett, 28, died from injuries sustained in the accident.

Burkett and Deputy Joseph Miller, 58, were transporting prisoner Gary Lynn Moser, of Waynesboro, Pa., to Berkeley County for prosecution on felony fraud charges.

Miller and Moser were both injured but have been released from the hospital.

Goodyear said preliminary toxicology results show there was no marijuana, cocaine or heroin in Parkins' blood.

He said that in the next week he expects to have further results from a Willow Hill, Pa., lab that would screen for those substances and some 300 pharmaceutical drugs.

"It will be a more accurate indication of any substances in his body," he said.

Test results earlier this month showed there was no alcohol in Parkins' system.

Goodyear said he was waiting for accident reconstructionists to determine how fast Parkins' car was traveling at the time of the accident.

"I can't hazard a guess yet," he said.

Trooper Aaron Martin had been waiting for a light to change while exiting the ramp off the southbound lane of the interstate at Exit 3 when a Subaru passed him heading the wrong way up the exit ramp, police have said.

Martin had turned on his lights, turned his cruiser around and was going after the car on I-81 in an attempt to stop the Subaru when the collision occurred.

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