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Police log for 4/1

April 01, 2003

City police officer treated after collision


A Hagerstown City Police officer was treated at Washington County Hospital on Saturday after his police cruiser and another vehicle collided, Police Chief Arthur Smith said Monday.

Police Officer Charles Streightiff remained on duty after leaving the hospital, Smith said. He had minor bruises and scrapes, the chief said.

Smith did not know the name of the woman driving the car that collided with the cruiser Saturday at around 5 p.m. She was taken to Washington County Hospital to be checked out and a child in the back seat also was checked by medical personnel, he said.

Streightiff was driving south on North Mulberry Street with his lights and sirens on, and the woman failed to stop her vehicle heading east on East Washington Street, Smith said.

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The woman's vehicle hit the cruiser in the front, right fender, Smith said.

Streightiff is a member of the downtown squad and often works as a bicycle patrol officer, Smith said.

The investigation was continuing.




Residents treated following house fire


NEW MARKET, Md. - Two occupants of a home at 10803 Ridge Crest Court were taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation following a Sunday morning fire that was ruled accidental.

The fire broke out in a second-floor children's bedroom at 11:32 a.m., according to Ed Ernst, a deputy Maryland state fire marshal. Damage was estimated at $5,000.

Firefighters from New Market, Walkersville, Green Valley, Libertytown and United responded to the call.




Leaf blower, video game reported stolen


A leaf blower, a PlayStation and a circular saw were among items reported stolen to the Washington County Sheriff's Department since Friday morning, police said.

  • A Husquevarna backpack leaf blower worth $412 was reported stolen at 8 a.m. Friday from the 14400 block of Edgemont Road.

  • A PlayStation, 16 PlayStation 2 games and two compact discs worth more than $500 were reported stolen at 9 p.m. Saturday from the 12200 block of Big Spring Road south of Clear Spring.

  • A circular saw and two five-eighth-inch drills valued at $300 were reported stolen at 6 p.m. Sunday from a shed in the 5000 block of General Stuart Court near Sharpsburg.

  • A stereo was reported stolen at 7 a.m. Monday from a Jeep Cherokee broken into in the 21300 block of Leiters Mill Road.

  • In other activity, a sunroom window in the 10900 block of Larch Avenue in Halfway apparently was shot with a BB, causing $300 in damage. That crime was reported at 4 p.m. Sunday.





Officers to step up safety enforcement


Starting today, Maryland State Police and the Washington County Sheriff's Department will step up their enforcement of Maryland's seat belt and child safety seat laws.

Called the 2003 Chiefs Challenge, the purpose of the increased enforcement is to prevent another record year of fatalities that occurred in 2002.

According to state police figures, 65 percent of traffic fatalities last year involved people who were not properly restrained.

State police will combine enforcement efforts with attempts to educate people that seat belts save lives.

Deputy 1st Class Jim Clay of the Washington County Sheriff's Department said the goal is to achieve a 90 percent seat belt use rate by the end of 2003. Motorists and passengers not properly restrained will be pulled over and ticketed.

In addition, children must be in age-appropriate safety seats to protect them from the leading cause of death for children under 14 - motor vehicle accidents, police said.

A $25 fine may accompany a charge of failure to wear a seat belt. Improper use of child restraints could result in fines of $25 to $48 depending on the age of the child, police said.

The stepped-up efforts will continue through May 31.




Victim of deadly fire not identified


CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Officials on Monday still had not positively identified a woman who died in a house fire early Sunday in the John Brown Farm subdivision in rural Jefferson County.

To make a positive identification, an autopsy was to be performed on the woman's body at the state Medical Examiner's office in Charleston, W.Va., said assistant state Fire Marshal Mack Dennis.

Dennis said Monday night he had not heard from anyone at the Medical Examiner's office.

The woman died when fire spread through her log home in the John Brown Farm subdivision, which is near Shannondale on the Blue Ridge Mountain east of Charles Town.

Because the home along Forest Drive sustained extensive damage in the blaze, it might be impossible to determine how it started, Dennis said.




Fire damages home in Berkeley County


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Fire caused about $50,000 damage to a house at 1163 Paynes Ford Road Monday afternoon, a fire official said.

It was believed the fire was electrical in nature, said Martin Roberts, chief of the Baker Heights Volunteer Fire Co.

The 4:41 p.m. fire spread through the attic, a wall and popped through a portion of the roof before it was contained by firefighters, Roberts said.

The house, which is east of Kelly Island Road, was being leased and is owned by Andrew Zetts, Roberts said.

The occupants were not home at the time of the fire, he said.

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