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Four dead in four accidents

February 26, 2006|By PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

TRI-STATE -

Four men were killed in four separate accidents Friday and Saturday in the Tri-State area.

The first fatality occurred Friday afternoon in Martinsburg, W.Va., when a Martinsburg man in his late 50s was struck by a car about 4:30 p.m. while walking in the 500 block of Williamsport Pike, Martinsburg Police Department Cpl. Darrll Ruppenthal said.

Ruppenthal said Saturday that the identity of the man, who died later from his injuries at City Hospital in Martinsburg, is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Also Friday night in Fulton County, Pa., Joseph Cooper, 52, of Saxton, Pa., was killed when his car collided head-on with another car about 11 p.m. on Pa. 475 in Dublin Township, Pennsylvania State Police said in a press release.

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On Saturday morning, a man was killed and two other people were seriously injured when the car in which they were riding veered off Interstate 81 in Berkeley County, just north of the Virginia state line, according to a written release from the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department. The name of the man killed is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, police said.

Also Saturday morning in Frederick County, Md., Thomas Wellham II, 20, of West Friendship, Md., was found dead ? still belted into a wrecked 2002 silver Oldsmobile Alero found propped on its passenger side ? about 7 a.m. off Md. 144, west of Mount Airy, Md., by a Maryland State Police trooper, according to a written release from Maryland State Police in Frederick, Md.

In the fatal accident in Fulton County, which was reported Friday at 10:58 p.m., Jonathan Martz, 29, of Three Springs, Pa., was driving a 1991 Oldsmobile south on Pa. 475 when he allegedly crossed the center line and collided head-on with Cooper's 1998 Nissan, which Cooper had been driving north on the road, state police said.

The driver's side of each of the cars collided, according to the release. Cooper was pronounced dead later from blunt force trauma at the Fulton County Medical Center in McConnellsburg, Pa., Pennsylvania State Police said.

The single-vehicle fatal accident on I-81 in Berkeley County, which was reported Saturday at 12:45 a.m., occurred when the female driver of a 2004 Nissan Maxima, traveling north on I-81 between the Virginia state line and Inwood, W.Va., veered right off the interstate, according to the Sheriff's Department press release and a Berkeley County 911 dispatcher.

Two male passengers of the Maxima were thrown from the car, one of whom was pronounced dead at the scene, the release states.

The driver, who was trapped in the Maxima, and the other male passenger were airlifted to Winchester (Va.) Medical Center for treatment, according to the release.

Deputies said the Maxima had Virginia registration.

No names were released pending notification of the deceased man's next of kin and because the investigation into the accident is continuing, deputies said.

In Saturday morning's accident in Frederick County, the state police sergeant who found the car at 6:54 a.m. called for medics, but it was determined that Wellham already had died, according to the release.

The crash appeared to have occurred overnight, but Sgt. Jay Robinson said police will list the time of the accident as when the car was found unless a witness comes forward with other information.

He said it was determined that Wellham was traveling at a high rate of speed, causing the accident.

The sergeant who found the car was traveling on Md. 144 in the area of Batholows Road when he saw the car, its roof ripped off in an apparent crash.

Anyone with information about the Md. 144 crash may call Maryland State Police in Frederick at 301-644-4151.

In Friday afternoon's fatal pedestrian accident in Martinsburg, the man killed had walked across Williamsport Pike into the side of a vehicle, the make and model for which were not released, according to a written release from the Martinsburg Police Department.

The pedestrian later died at City Hospital, police said.

The name of the driver of the car that struck the pedestrian also is being withheld pending the conclusion of the investigation into the accident, according to the press release.

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