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Woman charged in fatal accident

January 06, 2006|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.VA.

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

A Martinsburg woman was charged Thursday with a felony count of DUI with death in a fatal accident in which a man was hit by a car and killed on W.Va. 9 nearly three weeks ago, according to records filed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Aimee Dugger, 24, of 301 Athletic St., was arraigned on the charge and released after posting $25,000 bail, with conditions that she not drive after 8 p.m. or drink any alcohol.

Dugger told police she had had one glass of wine, but hospital records showed her blood alcohol content at the time of the wreck was .192 - more than twice the legal limit of .08, according to court records.

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The accident happened Dec. 17 at 1:35 a.m. on W.Va. 9 near the ramp for Interstate 81's Hedgesville, W.Va., exit, records state.

Thomas Bish, 65, was wearing a black jacket and blue jeans and was believed to be walking across the road when he was hit, according to court records.

His body was either dragged or on the roof of the car that hit him for 121 feet before the car stopped, records state.

When West Virginia State Police Trooper C.A. Ellwanger arrived, he saw Bish in the middle of the road and a black Mitsubishi Eclipse with front-end damage stopped nearby. Bish was pronounced dead about 20 minutes after the wreck, police said.

Ellwanger indicated that as he spoke to Dugger he smelled "the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage" emitting from her, court records state.

"(Trooper) Ellwanger asked Ms. Dugger if she had consumed any alcohol prior to the accident," Ellwanger wrote in court records. "Ms. Dugger advised that she had consumed one glass of wine prior to the accident while having dinner."

She was taken to City Hospital after complaining of facial pain and glass in her eyes.

A man riding in the car with Dugger, identified in court records as Jeremy Kelly, 24, said he did not see anyone walking in the road before the accident. He also told police that he had had "'way too much to drink,'" records state.

In a written statement given to police, Dugger said that she had left the interstate and was merging onto W.Va. 9 when she "came into contact with 'something,'" records state.

She saw Bish in the road after stopping her car, police said.

Conviction on a charge of DUI with death carries a sentence of one to 10 years in prison.

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