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Woman dies in crash

November 05, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

KEARNEYSVILLE, W.Va. - Nancy M. Dockeney, described as a "lovely lady," died Tuesday afternoon when her car collided head-on with a tractor-trailer on W.Va. 9 in Kearneysville.

Dockeney, 56, was pronounced dead at the scene. Dockeney, driving a Chrysler PT Cruiser, was heading west at around 1 p.m. when her car crossed into the oncoming lane and hit a tractor-trailer carrying mulch, West Virginia State Police said.

The truck flipped onto its passenger side and slid down the side of the road, spilling hundreds of bags of mulch into weeds and brush.

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Dockeney was the wife of Edward W. "Pat" Dockeney Jr., a former mayor of Martinsburg.

"When I think of Nancy, I have to say the thought that comes to mind is that she was a lovely lady," said Mary Via, executive director of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. She said Nancy Dockeney was gracious and poised.

Perhaps the highest compliment one could pay to Dockeney was to note her dedication to her husband and daughter, Via said.

"Those are traits that are very admirable," she said.

Although not active in the Chamber herself, Nancy Dockeney supported her husband, a current board member and past president.

While together at Chamber events, Via said she enjoyed conversing with Nancy Dockeney, whom she said had "a lovely sense of humor."

Sgt. E.D. Anderson, of the West Virginia State Police, said the driver of the truck was Philip O. Drish, 62, of Kearneysville. The truck belongs to Lowe Products Co. Inc., a nursery.

Drish refused treatment at the scene, a member of Citizens Volunteer Fire Department said.

Officials with the Public Service Commission will inspect the truck to ensure it was in good working condition and carrying a proper load, Anderson said. Evidence at the scene and statements from witnesses indicate the truck driver was in the correct lane, he said.

A section of W.Va. 9 was closed for about five hours as tow truck drivers worked to haul the tractor-trailer up an embankment and clear the road.

Dockeney was wearing her seat belt and the air bags in the car deployed, Anderson said. Speed did not appear to have been a factor, he said.

Jefferson County Coroner Donald Shirley said Dockeney died of multiple trauma to her chest and lower extremities. An autopsy would not be done, he said.

Jim Smith, also a former mayor of Martinsburg, befriended Nancy Dockeney in the 1970s when he was the Berkeley County Schools superintendent. Nancy was a teacher at that time and her husband worked with Smith.

Smith described Nancy Dockeney as a perfect lady, a gentle person and a dependable friend.

"She took care of Pat with a vengeance," Smith said. "I'm lost. I don't know what to say.

"I will miss her a lot. When I would see her, I felt good," he said.

Members of Dockeney's family could not be reached.

Pat Dockeney was Martinsburg's mayor from 1984 to 1990. He now owns and edits The Spirit of Jefferson Farmer's Advocate, a Charles Town, W.Va.-based newspaper.

A woman who answered the phone at The Spirit of Jefferson office said the Dockeneys have been married for 36 years and that they have one grown daughter, Cara Young of Bolivar, W.Va.

Former Martinsburg City Councilman Rick Wachtel said Nancy Dockeney was a few years behind him in high school and that he knew her as "a very quiet, beautiful, well-spoken woman."

He described the couple as quiet, and said they enjoyed taking trips out of town.

Current Mayor George Karos said Nancy Dockeney always said hello when she visited his drugstore, Patterson's.

"She was a very lovely, nice person," Karos said. "She seemed very happy and cheerful."

Councilman Gregg Wachtel said he is good friends with Pat Dockeney, who he said called his wife his backbone.

"He always talked about Nancy," Wachtel said.

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