Hagerstown man dies after crash

May 12, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Hagerstown man died and a Harpers Ferry, W.Va., man was charged with DUI causing death following a single-car crash Saturday night on Blue Ridge Mountain east of Charles Town, said a Jefferson County Sheriff's Department spokesman.

William Frank Hamilton, 34, of 10818 Mapleville Road, died after the 1994 Geo Tracker he was riding in ran off Mission Road and struck a tree at about 10:26 p.m., Deputy R.L. Fletcher said.

Mission Road is off W.Va. 9, the main east/west highway running through the Eastern Panhandle.

The Tracker, which was headed south, narrowly missed a guardrail before it struck the tree near the Gate 1 entrance to the Shannondale subdivision, Fletcher said.


The driver of the vehicle, Jerry Lee Hostler Jr., 30, of Route 4, Box 765, was charged with DUI causing death, Fletcher said. Hostler was being held in Eastern Regional Jail Sunday night on $25,000 bond, a jail spokeswoman said.

Fletcher said three sobriety tests were conducted on Hostler, all of which he failed.

Fletcher said he believes Hostler was negotiating a curve too fast on Mission Road when he went off the road.

Rescue officials were preparing to fly Hamilton out of the area to another hospital but those plans were canceled because his condition worsened, Fletcher said.

Hamilton instead was taken to Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, W.Va., where he was pronounced dead on arrival, Fletcher said.

Hamilton was riding in a front passenger seat, Fletcher said. A second male passenger was in the car but Fletcher said he was not able to obtain the person's name or condition Saturday night. That person's injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, Fletcher said.

Hostler was not hurt, Fletcher said.

There were two witnesses to the crash, one of whom called for help, Fletcher said.

Hamilton's death marked at least the seventh in Eastern Panhandle car accidents in the last month.

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