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Two hospitalized following I-81 crash

July 17, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A couple was injured Friday afternoon when their car ran off the side of Interstate 81, flipped and went airborne for about 125 feet, according to police.

The passenger, Shelly Williams, 30, of Bunker Hill, W.Va., was thrown from the 1990 Buick LeSabre and taken to City Hospital, said Sgt. Gary Harmison of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

Williams' husband and the driver of the car, Terry Williams, 34, of Martinsburg, was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extricated by members of the South Berkeley Volunteer Fire Department. He also was taken to City Hospital, police said.

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A nursing supervisor at City Hospital said Friday night that both were in satisfactory condition.

Williams was southbound on I-81, between the Winchester Avenue and Tabler Station Road exits, when his car ran off the left side of the road for an unknown reason at around 1:35 p.m., police said.

The car was in the median for 317 feet before it hit a concrete culvert, Harmison said. At that time, it went airborne for 56 feet and then hit the ground, flipped and went in the air for another 40 feet, Harmison said.

The car then flipped again and was in the air for nearly 30 more feet before it came to rest on its wheels in the median, police said.

The car was demolished, Harmison said.

No other cars were involved in the accident, which is under investigation, police said.

The northbound lanes of I-81 were shut down for 10 to 15 minutes to allow emergency personnel to arrive at the scene. Southbound traffic was not stopped, but was slow because of "rubberneckers," Harmison said.

Emergency personnel from South Berkeley, Berkeley County Ambulance Authority, Baker Heights Volunteer Fire Department and the county's Engine 90 responded, police said.

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