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Woman charged with traffic deaths is out on bond

January 02, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE - Sabrina Whitsel, the Shippensburg woman charged in the traffic deaths of high school running coach and teacher Tim Cook and his wife, Sue, has been arraigned by District Justice Shirley Shatzer and released on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond, a spokeswoman in Shatzer's office said Tuesday.

A preliminary hearing for Whitsel, 38, of 250 Goodhart Road, is scheduled for Jan. 13 at 1:30 p.m. before District Justice Larry Meminger in Chambersburg, Pa.

Whitsel is charged with two counts of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence. Tests show she had a blood alcohol count of .18 percent, court records said. The legal limit in Pennsylvania is .10. She also tested positive for marijuana, according to court documents.

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The accident which claimed the lives of the Cooks occurred around 11 p.m. Dec. 13 in the northbound lane of Interstate 81 about two miles south of Exit 16, according to Pennsylvania State Police in Chambersburg.

Whitsel's pickup truck crossed the median and struck the Cook's northbound Toyota causing it to spin out of control, police said. It was then struck by two tractor-trailer trucks. The couple was pronounced dead at the scene. Their address was listed as 3774 Pampas Circle, Chambersburg.

Tim Cook, 49, was a math teacher and girls' cross country coach at Chambersburg Area Senior High School. Sue Cook, also 49, was an administrative assistant at Shippensburg (Pa.) University.

Whitsel was taken to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey Pa., for treatment of her injuries. She was released over the weekend.

According to court records, Whitsel also was charged Friday with one count each of DUI, failure to drive in the established lane, careless driving and driving at a speed greater than reasonable.

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