Va. man killed in Interstate 81 crash

June 23, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

INWOOD, W.Va. - A Winchester, Va., man was killed and two passengers were injured early Sunday when the truck in which they were riding went off Interstate 81, struck several landmarks and split in two, West Virginia State Police said.

The 1995 Nissan pickup truck also exploded in the crash, which occurred about three miles south of the Inwood exit at about 4:20 a.m., Senior Trooper N.A. Harmon said.

Killed in the crash was Eugenio Mora-Becerra, 25, Harmon said.

Harmon said one of the passengers in the truck told police the vehicle may have been traveling between 80 mph and 90 mph when Mora-Becerra was driving the truck south on the interstate.


The truck went off the right side of the road, destroyed part of an exit sign and struck a large tree, splitting the truck in two, Harmon said.

The front section of the truck continued moving, striking another tree and coming to rest near some woods, Harmon said.

Harmon said it initially was believed that the two passengers in the truck were thrown from the vehicle.

But Harmon later said he was not sure if they were ejected.

The passengers were out of the truck when Harmon arrived, police said. Mora-Becerra was trapped in the wreckage, Harmon said.

The passengers, both of whom were treated and released from Winchester Medical Center, were identified as Nancy Ortiz, age unknown, of Winchester, and Richard Martinez, 18, of Winchester, Harmon said.

Harmon said he is certain speed was a factor in the crash.

Mora-Becerra's body will be taken to the state Medical Examiner's office in Charleston, W.Va., for an autopsy, Harmon said.

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