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W.Va. boy dies when struck by 2 vehicles

December 20, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY and DAVE MCMILLION

HEDGESVILLE, W.VA.

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

charlestown@herald-mail.com

A 12-year-old boy was killed Monday morning when he was hit by two cars while walking across W.Va. 9 to wait for his school bus, according to police.

The accident was the third fatal pedestrian accident in Berkeley County since Friday.

Monday's accident happened at 6:45 a.m. at 9346 Hedgesville Road when Dakota Bowman, 12, and his brother, Lloyd Bowman, walked across W.Va. 9 to a parking lot where they waited every morning for their bus, West Virginia State Police Sgt. Eric Burnett said.

While walking across the two-lane road, Dakota Bowman was hit by a Pontiac Grand Am driven by Juan Lemus, 27, of Falling Waters, W.Va., Burnett said.

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The boy was then hit by a Chevrolet Blazer driven by Dale Miller, 54, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., Burnett said.

Dakota Bowman was pronounced dead at the scene, Burnett said.

Neither driver was charged. Burnett said it was dark at the time of the accident, that the boy was wearing dark clothing and that both drivers were within their lanes of travel.

The school bus was not at the accident site.

Charles Scott, principal of Hedgesville Middle School, where Bowman was a seventh-grade student, described the boy as a "smiling, happy-go-lucky kid."

Bowman was a well-liked student who was always making polite gestures, such as holding doors open for others in the school, Scott said.

Scott said the last time he saw Bowman was last Wednesday before an ice storm was predicted to hit the area. Scott said Bowman asked him if he thought the school would be having classes Thursday.

Scott said when he told Bowman that he better take his books home in anticipation of a snow day, Bowman replied, "Man, Mr. Scott, I sure love you."

"It's pretty tough. He was just a great kid to have in the building," Scott said.

A crisis intervention team made up of about 10 to 15 people went to the school Monday to help students deal with the loss, Scott said. The team met with about 35 to 50 students and is expected to return today, Scott said.

"They will be back here as long as they need to be here," Scott said.

Berkeley County Superintendent of Schools Manny Arvon said he was taking a walk near his home Monday morning when a bus driver working a route in the area told him about the accident.

"It's one of those days that you can't imagine. It's devastating," said Arvon, who went to the scene of the accident.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. G.S. Petsko and Troopers J.B. Flanigan and D.S. See are investigating.

The accident happened near the intersection with Baxter Road, police said.

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