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Driver in fatal crash on I-81 in serious condition

December 19, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Gerrardstown, W.Va., woman who was involved in a single-car accident on Interstate 81 Wednesday afternoon remained in serious condition at Washington County Hospital Thursday night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Annette Poling was driving north on the interstate near the 18-mile marker north of Martinsburg when her Jeep Cherokee ran off the edge of the highway and flipped several times, West Virginia State Police said.

A passenger in the vehicle, Ashley Risinger, 20, of Hedgesville, W.Va., was killed in the crash, which occurred shortly after 4 p.m., police said.

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Poling was thrown from the Jeep and suffered severe head injuries, police said. Risinger was trapped inside, police said.

Trooper R.C. Copson said Thursday he has not been able to learn anything more about what may have led to the crash because Poling still was unconscious Thursday.

After the crash, Copson said it did not appear that any other cars were involved and the road was not icy where the crash occurred.

"Right now, it just appears she lost control (of the vehicle)," Copson said Thursday.

Risinger and Poling worked at Aker Plastics in Martinsburg, where they worked on the plant's production line, plant manager Jeff Pinyan said.

Aker Plastics, which is in the Mid-Atlantic Industrial Park off Edwin Miller Boulevard, makes fiberglass bathtubs and showers, Pinyan said.

Risinger had worked for the plant for about 14 months and Poling had just started working there, Pinyan said.

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