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Man killed in crash had complained of chest pain

March 25, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

Falling Waters, W.Va. - A Falling Waters man who was killed on Interstate 81 Wednesday morning when his car swerved across the median and collided with an SUV had left work not long before, complaining of chest pains, police said.

Michael J. Lupis, 37, was taken by ambulance to Washington County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, said Deputy Chris McCulley, with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

McCulley investigated the two-vehicle wreck, which happened at around 7:30 a.m. about a mile north of the Falling Waters/Marlowe exit.

Lupis was driving a 1988 Dodge Shadow southbound when his car went off the road, into the median and into the interstate's northbound lanes, police said. His car then collided with a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe.

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Both of the people in the Hyundai were taken to City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va., where they were treated for minor injuries, McCulley said. He declined to release their names.

Lupis' body was sent to the Maryland state medical examiner's office in Baltimore for an autopsy.

Shortly before the wreck, Lupis left his job at World Kitchen in Greencastle, Pa., McCulley said.

A woman driving in front of Lupis told police that she saw Lupis' car in her rearview mirror, and saw him swerve to the left. The side of his car was then hit by the front of the SUV, McCulley said.

Michele Potts, Lupis' sister, said Lupis was the youngest of eight siblings. He was a champion wrestler at Martinsburg High School, she said.

Never married, Lupis had no children. He leaves behind a girlfriend and a large, close family, Potts said.

"He loved being around us a lot," she said.

Over the summer Lupis was diagnosed with Lyme disease and suffered from joint pain and other problems associated with the disease, which is caused by a tick bite, Potts said. He had returned to work in November, with his doctor's permission, she said.

Potts said her brother's doctor had warned that he might have additional problems in the future.

As he headed home from work, Lupis called his girlfriend to tell her he was in a lot of pain, Potts said.

Lupis tended to keep to himself, his sister said. "He was a pretty private kid," she said.

McCulley said he did not believe Lupis was wearing his seat belt and his car did not have air bags. Both people in the SUV were wearing their seat belts and their air bags deployed.

The right-hand lane of Interstate 81 was shut down as police investigated.

Emergency officials with Bedington Volunteer Fire Department and Berkeley County Ambulance Authority responded.

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