YOU ARE HERE: HeraldMail HomeCollectionsWva

Man, 79, struck, killed on I-81

September 22, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARLOWE, W.VA. - A 79-year-old man was killed Tuesday morning when he ran into traffic along Interstate 81 after his car ran out of gas, police said.

West Virginia State Police Cpl. John Droppleman said he could not release the man's name because authorities could find no relatives to notify of the death.

The man's 1986 Chevrolet Nova apparently ran out of gas north of the Falling Waters-Marlowe exit at about 11:33 a.m., Droppleman said.


Carrying a gas can, the man made it safely across the northbound lanes of traffic and through the median, but he then ran into southbound traffic, Droppleman said.

Droppleman said the man appeared to be heading to a gas station a couple of hundred yards away when he was struck and thrown to the side of the southbound shoulder.

There was traffic in both southbound lanes and the driver who hit the man could not have avoided the accident, he said.

Charges will not be filed against the driver, Henry Steers III, 55, of Falling Waters, W.Va., who was driving a Dodge minivan in the passing lane, Droppleman said.

"There was absolutely nothing the driver of the vehicle could've done," Droppleman said. "It was pedestrian error. The pedestrian misjudged the traffic."

Several witnesses stopped their cars to speak to police and all said the collision could not have been avoided, Droppleman said.

The victim had visible injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by an emergency medical crew.

The man lived in a camper in a campground along W.Va. 9, east of Martinsburg. Neighbors at the campground indicated that the victim lived alone and was somewhat of a recluse, Droppleman said.

The southbound lanes of Interstate 81 were shut down for an hour while troopers investigated, police said.

Nobody else was injured in the accident, although the driver who hit the man was emotionally shaken, Droppleman said.

The Herald-Mail Articles