Police log for 5/31

May 31, 2002

'Officer down' message draws official response

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A series of calls on a police radio frequency Thursday evening advising "officer down, officer down" sent municipal, county, state and federal agencies scrambling to account for all on-duty and off-duty officers in Berkeley County and beyond.

At 8:42 p.m., the search was discontinued after about an hour, said Steve Allen, director of the Berkeley County Office of Emergency Services.

"It was a male voice," Allen said from his headquarters where he was fielding inquiries about the calls.

The calls came in on a police channel and sounded genuine enough that the agencies went on high alert.

Shortly after 7 p.m., Berkeley County Sheriff Randy Smith asked Allen to contact the media to announce to residents of Berkeley County and the surrounding area to be on the lookout for an abandoned police vehicle or signs of an officer in distress.

Officers and agents were called by radio and in some cases, contacted in person to make sure they were safe, Allen said.


Witnesses sought in Thursday crash on I-70

Witnesses to an early-morning accident Thursday on eastbound Interstate 70 were being sought by Maryland State Police who believe a white Volvo station wagon played a role in a 7:04 a.m. crash that injured a Pennsylvania woman.

Kathryn Rebecca Shirk, 27, of Mercersburg, Pa., was in fair condition Thursday night at Washington County Hospital, hospital officials said.

Trooper 1st Class Russ Plante said Shirk was eastbound in a 2001 Hyundai Tiburon east of White Hall Road in the passing lane when she was forced into the median by the Volvo, which continued on in the eastbound slow lane without stopping.

Careening through the median, Shirk's vehicle spun into the westbound lanes and was struck by a FedEx tractor-trailer driven by Shawn William Terry Sr., 52, of Martinsburg, W.Va., police said.

Also hit by flying debris from the collision was a 1999 Toyota Corolla driven by William Johnson Jr., 41, of Frederick, police said.

Traffic was rerouted onto the berm while the wreckage was cleared, Plante said.

The white Volvo was described as a late model with some advertising or writing on the rear and the sides. The Volvo was being sought by police even though no contact was made with Shirk's car, Plante said.

Anyone with information may call 301-739-2101.

Accidents send two to county hospital

Two accidents on Thursday evening sent two people to Washington County Hospital, one by ambulance and the other by helicopter.

At 7:19 p.m., a car/motorcycle accident occurred on Bakersville Road, Maryland State Police said.

Trooper 1st Class Kyle George investigated the accident and reported the motorcyclist sustained a broken leg and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. No further details were available.

An hour later, Washington County Sheriff's deputies responded to Keep Tryst Road where a vehicle ran into an embankment, injuring one person, who was airlifted to the hospital by state police medevac helicopter, rescue officials said.

Deputy 1st Class Valerie Weaver was investigating the 8:19 p.m. accident.

Vandal causes damages at area Christian school

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Cumberland Valley Christian School was entered and a classroom and several school buses were vandalized Tuesday, Pennsylvania State Police said.

The vandal broke a window at the 600 Miller Drive school and once inside flipped over a desk and large bookcase inside one of the classrooms, police said. The intruder also sprayed the inside of three school buses with three fire extinguishers between 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

Anyone with information may contact Trooper K.E. Lentz at 717-264-5161.

Man seriously injured in Thursday crash

FANNETTSBURG, Pa. - A Philadelphia man was pinned beneath his vehicle early Thursday after it ran off Pa. 75 in Metal Township, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Robert Schmeltzer, of Philadelphia, was driving a 2001 Ford Econoline north on Pa. 75 when the vehicle drifted off the east shoulder of the road, police said.

The driver attempted to steer the vehicle back onto the road and overcompensated, causing it to swerve and go off the west side of the road, police said. The vehicle hit a tree and flipped on its roof, pinning the driver in the wreckage.

Schmeltzer was removed from the vehicle by the Metal Township Fire Department and flown to Hershey Medical Center with injuries to his lower extremities, police said.

He was listed in critical condition Thursday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Md. woman admits making up rape charge

FREDERICK - The 18-year-old woman who reported Sunday she had been raped has admitted no rape occurred, Frederick City Police said Thursday.

In an account in Thursday's Morning Herald and Daily Mail, it was reported the woman told police she was in an alley at the rear of the 400 block of West South Street at 11:45 p.m. Sunday when she was approached by three men who asked her to stop and talk with them.

She told police one man grabbed her, the second held her legs while the third raped her. The woman went to Frederick Memorial Hospital and reported the rape at which time police were called.

Later under questioning by Detectives David Armstrong and Julius Levine, the woman admitted no crime occurred.

Area man injured when truck overturns

A dump truck carrying sand overturned on Md. 64 at the Pennsylvania state line Thursday afternoon at 1:28 p.m., forcing traffic onto the shoulder until the wreckage was cleared, Maryland State Police said.

Donald Eugene Olden Sr., 66, of 222 S. Main St., Boonsboro, sustained minor injuries in the accident. He was cited for not wearing his seat belt, said Trooper 1st Class Russ Plante.

The 1997 International truck, owned by Everett V. Moser Inc., drifted into a ditch and the driver overcorrected when trying to get back on the road, police said.

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