MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A man charged with triggering a traffic accident that killed three people last summer will not stand trial next week as had been planned, because a crucial witness is a National Guardsman stationed in Baghdad.
Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely said Monday morning that she petitioned to have the witness released from his military obligation, but the request was denied. Military officials may not have realized how important the witness - Public Service Commission Officer John Skaggs - is to the case, she said.
Immediately after the July 10, 2002, wreck, Skaggs took Brian W. Strobridge, 38, to City Hospital in Martinsburg, where blood and urine samples were taken. Authorities alleged that tests done on the samples showed cocaine was present in Strobridge's system, and police charged Strobridge, who was driving the dump truck that triggered the crash, with three counts of driving under the influence causing death.