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SUV crashes into a tree, flips over creek

May 28, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

INWOOD, W.Va. - Sodden and muddy tow truck drivers had their work cut out for them Tuesday evening, when they had to pull out a mangled SUV that had hit a tree, flipped over a creek and landed in a thicket on the opposite bank.

The driver of the SUV, whose name could not be confirmed Tuesday night, did not appear seriously injured. He sat alone, smoking cigarettes and watching as workers with Inwood Towing carefully pulled out his Ford Expedition. Several minutes after his SUV was pulled out, an ambulance from South Berkeley Volunteer Fire Co. arrived and he was taken out on a stretcher. His condition could not be obtained.

"He's lucky to be alive," said West Virginia State Police Trooper R.T. Dyroff.

Airbags in the newer-model Ford deployed and the driver was wearing his seat belt. Nobody else was in the car, Dyroff said.

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The wreck happened on W.Va. 51, west of Inwood.

Filled with mud, the Ford had severe front-end damage. According to Dyroff, the SUV flipped at least once over a small creek before coming to rest upright.

The driver told police that as he headed toward Inwood, an oncoming car crossed the center line and forced him off the road. No other car stopped at the scene and the driver of the SUV was not able to provide a description of it, Dyroff said.

No charges against the SUV driver will be filed, Dyroff said.

At the scene, the truck was on soggy ground, with thick trees on one side and the creek on the other. Pulling it backward with a long chain, the tow truck drivers once had to use a pulley around a large tree to keep the SUV from sliding into the water.

Once they had the truck pulled onto a nearby driveway, one Inwood Towing employee used a shovel to clear off some of the mud inside the windshield. Another asked the driver for his cell phone number and then dialed it, to see if they could hear the phone ringing inside the SUV.

No ringing was audible.

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