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Hearing held in fatal crash

July 19, 2003

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The dump truck driver charged with causing an accident on W.Va. 9 that killed three people last July appeared in court Friday morning for a brief status hearing.

Brian William Strobridge, 38, was indicted on three counts of driving under the influence causing death, two counts of DUI causing injury and several misdemeanor traffic offenses.

The DUI charges were filed after police received laboratory test results that showed cocaine was in Strobridge's system at the time of the accident, which happened around 4:45 p.m. on July 10, 2002.

The case is set for trial on Sept. 23.

During the status hearing, defense attorney Robert C. Stone told Circuit Court Judge Christopher Wilkes that Strobridge has become an indigent. Four months ago, Strobridge's $200,000 bail was revoked after a test done in March showed three drugs, including cocaine, in his system, court documents show. One of the conditions of Strobridge's release had been that he not use or possess any drugs.

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Strobridge is in Eastern Regional Jail.

Stone said he has hired a toxicologist and will need to be reimbursed because his client cannot pay the necessary fees.

Killed in the six-car accident 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.

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