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Man charged in accident

children hurt

October 06, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -A Shepherdstown, W.Va., man was charged with driving while under the influence of cocaine in a one-vehicle car accident that injured his three children, police said.

One of the children had to be airlifted for treatment, according to records filed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Charles Thomas Turner Jr., 32, of Rt. 3, Box 276, was charged with driving under the influence, three counts of driving under the influence with minors, three counts of driving under the influence causing injury, failure to maintain control and driving on a suspended license. Turner's driver's license had been suspended because citations had gone unpaid, records state.

West Virginia State Police Trooper J.B. Flanigan said the single-vehicle accident happened at 9:18 p.m. Monday on Van Clevesville Road.

When Flanigan arrived, he saw a red Ford Festiva that had run off the road and hit a utility pole, splitting the pole in half, according to court records.

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Earlier that day, a description of the car had been broadcast on police radio frequencies, with a warning the driver was driving recklessly, records state.

Turner and his three children, ages 7, 5 and 4, were taken to City Hospital. The 7-year-old was treated for minor injuries and released, while the 5-year-old was still at the hospital. The 4-year-old was flown out for treatment of a crushed pelvis, records state.

When Flanigan spoke to Turner at the hospital, Turner had glassy eyes, incoherent speech and a "severe lack of coordination," records allege.

When asked what caused the accident, Turner said that one of the children spilled a drink, causing him to run the car off the road when he tried to grab it, records allege.

Turner told police he had not been drinking but when asked if he had used drugs Turner became agitated and refused to answer, records state.

Turner, who was not able to perform a field sobriety test, agreed to let police review his medical records from the hospital. Those records indicated Turner had cocaine and benzodiazepines in his system, records state.

While being taken to Eastern Regional Jail, Turner told police that he had smoked $150 worth of crack cocaine, records allege.

Turner was being held in the jail Tuesday night on $100,000 bail.

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