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Man still missing after river plunge

November 02, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARLOWE, W.Va. - A man who jumped into the Potomac River Friday evening after leading police on a low-speed pursuit had not been found by Monday, and police were not sure whether he drowned or swam safely to a river bank, according to a West Virginia State Police official.

Sgt. Dean Olack said investigators have not been able to confirm the man's identity.

West Virginia State Police Troopers F.H. Edwards and J.J. Parrish tried to pull the man's car over on Broad Lane at around 6:45 p.m. Friday for improper registration and traffic offenses, Olack said.

Driving a tan Buick passenger car, the man refused to stop and instead drove to Sportsmen's Paradise, a community along the Potomac River, Olack said.

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On Pickle Lane, the man stopped by the river, got out of his car and jumped into the water, Olack said. He said the man was not wearing shoes.

Because of thick foliage, the troopers were only able to see the man for about 20 yards. He was last seen trying to swim downstream, Olack said.

Two rescue boats from Washington County combed the river for about two hours Friday night but did not find the man, Olack said. Members of the county's dive team also were summoned to the scene.

Neither of the troopers waded into the water after the man because the river is Maryland's jurisdiction and the man was not asking for help, Olack said.

Washington County officials said the Division of Natural Resources was handling the water rescue or recovery effort, but several calls Monday to DNR officers were not returned.

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