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Man struck and killed near mall was homeless

October 06, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A pedestrian who died in an accident was homeless and had spent much of his time between Martinsburg Rescue Mission and the mall and stores in Martinsburg, W.Va., where he was a struck by a vehicle, the Rev. William Crowe said Thursday.

Though Crowe, the director of the shelter, said he has known Marshell Peck about 30 years, he said the homeless man kept to himself.

"Put it this way. Pretty much everybody knew him, but you didn't know him," Crowe said. "He spent a lot of time ... he was on the street or he was at the mall. He was at the mall a lot ... at the Wal-Mart."

According to a Berkeley County Sheriff's Department press release, Peck died Wednesday when he was hit by a vehicle in the 14000 block of Apple Harvest Drive near Kmart. Police responded to the accident at 7:42 p.m.

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Cpl. Steve Vigh said he did not anticipate that the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident would be cited. On Thursday night, he said the investigation was closed "to the best of my knowledge."

"He walked out in front of traffic, as far as I know," Vigh said.

Peck was 64, Vigh said.

Crowe, who started his work at the mission in 1960, said Peck sometimes showed up for a meal or a place to sleep. He seldom stayed around, Crowe said.

Peck, who Crowe said had been homeless for some time, probably was recognizable to many people in town, Crowe said. Fifty-five to 60 men a night stay at the shelter, which serves about 190 breakfasts, lunches and dinners seven days a week, Crowe said.

"He would come around for a bed to sleep in, or a meal, or clothing ... that's pretty much it. That's just the life that they live. There's a lot of them around," Crowe said.

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