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Probe continues in W.Va. dirt bike-car collision

June 10, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.VA.

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

The driver of a car that collided with a dirt bike Tuesday afternoon, killing the teenager on the bike, lost control while going around a curve and slid sideways into the bike, police said.

Cpl. Willie Johnson, with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department, declined to identify the driver of the car because he is 17 years old.

The boy on the dirt bike, Michael Travis Gault, 14, of Hedgesville, W.Va, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was wearing a helmet, Johnson said.

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Johnson, an accident reconstructionist, was working on a report to determine the speed of both vehicles and whether either had violated traffic laws.

A woman who answered the phone at Gault's home Wednesday said Michael Gault was an honor roll student at Hedgesville High School and had just finished his ninth-grade year.

"He was a fun-loving country boy," she said.

After saying Michael enjoyed riding his dirt bike, she declined to speak further. She did not want to give her name.

The accident happened one day after schools let out for the summer.

Johnson said the Honda XR80 dirt bike collided with the passenger side door of the car, a 1989 Ford Probe, in the bike's travel lane.

The accident happened at 3:41 p.m. on Butts Mill Road, police said.

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