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Heart attack blamed in fatal W.Va. crash

October 06, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Police believe a Martinsburg man who died Tuesday morning after his truck hit a utility pole and a garage suffered a heart attack just before the accident.

Glenn C. Sikora, 49, was pronounced dead a little less than an hour after the 10:05 a.m. wreck. A bystander checked Sikora's pulse and performed CPR on the scene, but Sikora was pronounced dead at City Hospital at 10:57 a.m., according to a press release from the West Virginia State Police Trooper J.M. Droppleman.

The single-car accident happened on U.S. 11 south of Martinsburg, two-tenths of a mile south of the intersection with Nadenbousch Lane, police said.

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Sikora's truck, which police described as a 1997 Peterbilt tractor and dump-style trailer, was heading south when he crossed the center line and hit a utility pole. The truck then crossed a yard, hit a detached garage and a tree before coming to rest, police said.

Droppleman said Sikora had a heart attack, apparently causing him to lose control of the truck. He had no obvious injuries on his body, police said.

Berkeley County Medical Examiner David Brining said he determined Sikora had a heart attack, which caused the accident.

Brad Wright, a firefighter with South Berkeley Volunteer Fire Department, said Sikora's trailer was empty. Utility lines fell to the ground as a result of the wreck and both lanes of U.S. 11 were closed for more than an hour, Wright said.

Jason Reardon, owner of General Hauling in Martinsburg, said Sikora had worked for him for about a year.

Reardon said Sikora always kept his truck clean, arrived early to work and stayed late every day.

"You couldn't ask for a better driver," he said.

Sikora enjoyed fishing, playing video games and working, Reardon said. He said Sikora was not married.

At the time of the accident, Sikora was on his way to a quarry to pick up a load of stone, Reardon said.

An Allegheny Power spokesman said that 711 customers were without power from about 11:30 a.m. to 2:21 p.m. When crews arrived at the scene, they cut power to replace poles affected by the wreck, said spokesman Mike Grandillo.

Some customers also experienced a flickering in power when the wreck happened, Grandillo said.

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