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Crash kills W.Va. woman

August 23, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

A 65-year-old woman on her way to lunch died Friday morning when the car in which she was riding collided with a pickup truck, according to police.

Oalene Murphy, 65, of Falling Waters, W.Va., was pronounced dead at the scene, West Virginia State Police Trooper John Droppleman said.

The accident happened at around 11:15 a.m. at the intersection of W.Va. 9 and Warm Springs Avenue, west of Martinsburg.

Murphy was a passenger in a car driven by her sister, 68-year-old Ruby Householder, also of Falling Waters.

Householder, driving a 1993 Plymouth Sundance, was heading east and had stopped in the left turn lane of W.Va. 9, Droppleman said. He believes the sisters were heading to Denny's, a nearby restaurant.

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Although Householder had a green light, she did not yield as required to oncoming traffic, he said. The passenger side of her car was hit by a pickup truck driven by Sherri Finkbeiner, 31, of Inwood, W.Va.

Finkbeiner, driving a 2000 Nissan pickup truck, was in the center lane heading west, Droppleman said. Finkbeiner told police that she was going about 40 mph when the Plymouth turned into her path, Droppleman said.

Although Murphy was wearing her seat belt, Droppleman said the collision was a bad one and that he doubted anyone sitting where Murphy was sitting could have survived.

Murphy's body was taken to a funeral home, while Householder and Finkbeiner both were taken by ambulance to City Hospital.

A hospital spokeswoman said Householder was admitted, but she did not have her condition. Finkbeiner was treated in the emergency room and released, the spokeswoman said.

Several people witnessed the wreck and stayed on the scene to offer help, Droppleman said. He learned of the wreck when one witness ran to the state police station at the intersection.

Although troopers are reconstructing the wreck, all indications are that Householder, who does not remember the accident, was at fault, Droppleman said. She was cited for failure to yield right-of-way. No additional charges will be filed, Droppleman said.

Although both westbound lanes of W.Va. 9 were blocked for about an hour and a half, emergency officials were able to divert traffic around the wreckage, Droppleman said.

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