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Md. man dies in crash on U.S. 11

October 03, 2002|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

FALLING WATERS, W.Va. - A Baltimore man was killed Wednesday afternoon after the car he was driving went off the road, flipped onto its roof and slammed sideways into a tree.

Donyea Leroy Richards, 34, of Ivy Avenue, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Richards was staying "here and there" locally, but Deputy Jerry Bradshaw of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department said he did not have an area address.

Nobody else was inside the 2002 dark blue, four-door Chevrolet Cavalier, which belonged to a local woman, possibly Richards' girlfriend, Bradshaw said.

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The wreck happened around 1:15 p.m. on U.S. 11 North.

"Speed is definitely going to be a factor," Bradshaw said. Police had not determined exactly how fast Richards was going.

As he headed toward Martinsburg, W.Va., Richards passed a car just before the accident scene and, after cresting a small hill, lost control of the Cavalier, Bradshaw said. He hit the tree about 200 feet farther down the road, which is hilly and curvy in places. That may also have played a factor in the wreck, Bradshaw said.

Richards was wearing his seat belt, but an airbag did not deploy, Bradshaw said.

Berkeley County Coroner David Brining, who arrived at the accident scene about 45 minutes after the wreck, said Richards died from blunt traumatic injuries to his head and chest.

Faint skid marks were visible on the road and gouge marks were present in the grass between the road and the tree. The car came to rest upside down against a tree, which is in the front yard of a mobile home across from the Southern States Petroleum Services facility.

The passenger side of the car was pushed inward and the tree ended up where a passenger would have been sitting.

Several items were visible inside the car, including a black-and-white striped Foot Locker bag and one of the man's boots.

After the wreck, police shut down a section of U.S. 11 for about an hour and a half.

Rescue personnel from Bedington Volunteer Fire Department and Berkeley County Ambulance Authority responded.

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