Daughter says accident victim called 911

May 16, 2002|BY DAVE McMILLION

A Harpers Ferry, W.Va., woman who was killed on W.Va. 9 Tuesday while she was alerting motorists about an accident on the highway also had called 911 on her cell phone apparently to report the crash, her daughter said.

Gloria Jeanette Oaks, 49, of Route 2, was heading up Blue Ridge Mountain from the accident scene when a large tree uprooted and fell on her car, crushing it in the middle and killing her, police said.

Holly Martin, Oaks' daughter, said she checked the memory on her mother's cell phone and discovered she had called 911.

"I'm assuming she was there pretty early when it happened," Martin said.

Martin said her mother was returning from a trip to pick up a birthday gift at the Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse in Martinsburg, W.Va., when the accident happened.


Police believe the tree uprooted and fell on Oaks' car when high winds and rain quickly moved into the area Tuesday. Oaks, who was pronounced dead at the scene, had her emergency flashers on in an attempt to alert oncoming traffic about the other crash that had occurred just minutes earlier, police said.

The first accident occurred about 4 p.m. when Domingo Rios, 18, of 1704 Roberts St., Winchester, Va., was entering a sharp curve just east of the Bloomery Bridge, said Lt. Robert E. Shirley of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

Instead of turning to make the curve, Rios continued straight and struck a car being driven by Deborah L. McCauley, 35, of 35 Cloverdale Heights, Charles Town, Shirley said.

Rios was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where his condition had improved from critical to serious Wednesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

McCauley was taken to Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, where she was in stable condition Wednesday, an official there said.

Riding with McCauley were her two daughters, Allison, 9, and Courtney, 15, police said.

Allison was in stable condition at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, W.Va., Wednesday, and Courtney was treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Oaks lived in Jefferson County for about 18 years and worked as a maid for a senior citizens home in Frederick, Md., Martin said.

Oaks was married and had a son named John Clem, her daughter said.

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