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Man faces charges following pursuit, crash

August 23, 2005|by CANDICE BOSLEY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg man was arraigned Monday on several felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with a police pursuit that ended with a car crashing into a guardrail, seriously injuring one person, court records state.

Robert Harold Bartles, 31, of 75 Nameless Way, was charged with two felony counts of child neglect, one felony count of fleeing in a vehicle causing bodily injury and misdemeanor charges of leaving the scene of an accident with injury, speeding, failure to obey a traffic device, reckless driving and driving on a suspended license.

West Virginia State Police Trooper J.J. Bowman wrote in court records that on Friday, Aug. 12, at 11:02 p.m., he was running radar on W.Va. 45, also called Shepherdstown Road.

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A red Chevrolet coupe passed him, heading toward Martinsburg at 72 mph in a 55 mph zone. When Bowman turned on his flashing lights, the car turned left onto Bridle Path Drive and sped up, records state.

In front of a house on Bridle Path Drive, the driver slowed down as if he planned to stop, but instead made a U-turn. Bowman, who had turned on his siren, made a U-turn as well, records state.

The car then went across both lanes of W.Va. 45 and crashed into a guardrail, records state.

The driver of the car got out, jumped over the guardrail and ran into a field. Troopers were unable to find him, records state.

A front-seat passenger had facial injuries and was taken to City Hospital in Martinsburg, and later to Winchester (Va.) Medical Center, where he was in the intensive care unit after the wreck, Bowman said.

Bartles' driver's license had been suspended May 12 because of several unpaid traffic tickets, police said.

He turned himself in to police at the West Virginia State Police Martinsburg barrack the day after the wreck. He told troopers he fled because his license had been suspended and because he did not have any insurance on the car, records state.

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