Bail is revoked for man charged in crash

March 14, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Because of a failed drug test, bail was revoked for the man accused of triggering a six-car wreck last summer that killed three people.

Brian William Strobridge, 38, who faces three counts of DUI causing death, was freed last year on $200,000 bail. As a condition of his release, Strobridge was not allowed to use or possess drugs, among other restrictions.

A test performed on Strobridge March 6 came back as positive for three different types of drugs, according to a two-page court order revoking his bail.


Using a capias issued by a Circuit Court judge, two sheriff's deputies picked up Strobridge around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Ollie's, a local sports bar. Officers smelled alcohol on Strobridge's breath, but he said he had only had a few sips and declined to take a breath test, Sheriff Randy Smith said Thursday.

Strobridge allegedly had cocaine in his system when he caused the wreck, which happened around 4:45 p.m. on July 10, 2002, on W.Va. 9 east of Martinsburg.

Strobridge's empty dump truck went into opposing traffic lanes and hit several cars, according to police. Killed in the wreck were Marian Rao, 51, of Martinsburg; Terry Lee Walker Jr., 17, of Leetown, W.Va.; and Carleton Wilcox, 20, of Charles Town, W.Va. Rao was driving a Toyota passenger car, while Walker and Wilcox were in a Jeep Wrangler.

The Jeep was crushed underneath the front of the dump truck and, at first, one witness thought it must have gone over the railing and into Opequon Creek, according to a witness' statement included in court records. The wreck happened on the two-lane bridge over the creek.

Sgt. Russell Shackelford, a criminal investigator with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department, earlier testified that lab workers told him a toxicology test is declared positive for cocaine if the results show 150 to 300 nanograms of cocaine per milliliter of blood in one's system. Strobridge's test, done on blood taken shortly after the wreck, revealed 880 nanograms, Shackelford said.

On Feb. 19, a grand jury panel indicted Strobridge on three counts of DUI causing death, two counts of DUI causing injury and several misdemeanor traffic offenses.

His trial is set for September.

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