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Cause of deadly truck crash in W.Va., unclear

June 14, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Police on Sunday were still unable to release the names of two people who were killed in a head-on collision between two tractor-trailers on Interstate 81 in Martinsburg Saturday morning.

Police did not release the names of the victims because next of kin were still being notified, said Chief Deputy Kenny Lemaster of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

Police made contact with some family members of one of the victims and were unable to make contact with any family members of the second victim, Lemaster said.

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The 8:15 a.m. crash occurred when a northbound tractor-trailer crossed into the median near the bridge over W.Va. 45 and struck a southbound truck, police said.

The collision caused an instantaneous explosion, police said.

That section of I-81 is under construction and is lined with concrete median barriers, said Deputy W.A. Johnson.

The northbound truck somehow managed to miss the barriers and crossed over between a small open area at the bridge, Johnson said.

It is unclear what caused the truck to leave the northbound lane, Lemaster said, adding that the investigation is continuing.

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