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Man killed in I-81 wreck

September 24, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - A Frederick, Md., man was killed Thursday on Interstate 81 in Berkeley County after his car ran off the road, hit a sign and then hit a guardrail and flipped over, police said.

Joel T. Wharton, 29, was killed instantly, police said.

Melvin Dove, a passenger in Wharton's 1992 Mercury Marquis, was taken to City Hospital in Martinsburg with serious injuries, according to a press release from West Virginia State Police.

A spokeswoman at City Hospital said Thursday evening that Dove was not listed as a patient there. She said she did not have any further information.

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Both men were thrown from the car during the single-vehicle wreck, which happened at 1:49 a.m. north of the Tabler Station Road exit. Wharton was headed north, police said.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. C.C. Morton said he did not know Dove's age or address.

The accident remains under investigation. Morton said police do not know why Wharton ran off the road.

The wreck is the third fatal accident in the last three days in Berkeley County. Two of those were on Interstate 81.

· A 79-year-old man died Tuesday when his car ran out of gas and he was hit by a car while running across the southbound lanes of Interstate 81 near the Falling Waters-Marlowe, W.Va., exit, police said.

Trooper J.M. Droppleman, who investigated that wreck, said the victim, William Collinge, ran into traffic and that the driver who hit Collinge could not have avoided the accident.

· On Tabler Station Road Wednesday morning, a motorcyclist died after his Harley-Davidson was hit nearly head-on by a pickup truck, said Deputy Tom Carroll with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

Daniel Kneisly, 43, of Inwood, W.Va., died at City Hospital. The driver of the pickup truck, Eugene Lasecki, 72, of Martinsburg, was charged with failure to yield the right of way.

Carroll said that Lasecki told him he did not see the motorcycle. Lasecki's truck hit the motorcycle when Lasecki started to turn left across Kneisly's lane of travel to enter a business' parking lot, police said.

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