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Pa. police plan to interview survivor in fatal accident

September 01, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Chief Barry Keller of the Washington Township Police Department said Tuesday he plans to interview the passenger in the pickup truck involved in a double fatality that occurred last week in the parking lot of a local restaurant.

Ryan Soverns, 25, of 303 S. Main St., Mont Alto, Pa., has been released from Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center, Keller said.

Soverns was a passenger in a westbound 1992 Chevrolet pickup driven by Brian W. Wertz, 31, of 304 Constitution Ave., Mont Alto. The truck ran off Pa. 16 shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday, slid sideways across private lawns, went airborne for about 54 feet and continued to slide sideways across the eastside parking lot of Mountain Gate Family Restaurant at 10530 Buchanan Trail East (Pa. 16).

Before it slammed into the side of the restaurant, it struck and killed April Garrett, 35, of 13204 Smithsburg Pike, Smithsburg, as she was walking across the parking lot with her husband and children.

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Wertz was killed in the impact when the truck hit the building. Wertz and Garrett were pronounced dead at the scene.

Keller said he also is waiting for a toxicology report on Wertz, along with interviews with Soverns and others, before he can piece together how and why the accident happened.

The restaurant was closed Friday and reopened Saturday.

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