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West Virginia State Trooper's funeral Thursday

November 06, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - A funeral for local West Virginia State Police Trooper Brian W. Linn will be Thursday in his hometown of Elkins, W.Va., and it is possible that as many as 1,000 people will attend the service, a state police official said Monday.

"There will be troopers literally from across the country coming to this," Lt. D.B. Malcomb said.

When an officer dies in the line of duty, national broadcasts are sent out about the death and most of the officers who come to the funeral do not know the officer, Malcomb said.

Linn's funeral is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at a National Guard Armory. Linn, 25, will be buried at the American Legion Little Arlington Cemetery, a military cemetery in Elkins, Malcomb said.

A viewing is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at St. Brendan Catholic Church in Elkins, Malcomb said.

Linn of Martinsburg, W.Va., died Friday night after his cruiser slid sideways across W.Va. 9 about a half-mile west of Wiltshire Road near Kearneysville, W.Va. Linn and two other troopers were traveling west to help another trooper who was chasing someone on foot near a Sheetz store a short distance up the road, police said.

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Linn's cruiser went airborne, struck a utility pole and rolled an undetermined number of times at about 11:30 p.m., police said.

State police said they are not sure what caused Linn to lose control of his car, and they are reconstructing the accident in an attempt to determine what caused it, a process that will take two to three weeks, state police said Monday.

An autopsy was conducted on Linn, but it did not reveal anything that would shed light on the cause of the crash, Malcomb said.

On Monday, local police reflected on times they spent with Linn and were making plans to attend his funeral.

Most of the troopers in the three Eastern Panhandle counties will attend the funeral, said Sgt. Geoff Petsko, who works at the Berkeley County state police detachment.

At the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, about 10 officers are planning to attend some part of the ceremony, Lt. Dave Colbert said.

Deputies at the department on Monday were wearing black "mourning ribbons" across the front of their badges.

Deputy Jerry Bradshaw, who is from Elkins, said he and Linn used to talk about living there. Bradshaw said he and Linn would eat dinner together when they were working and share stories.

"Actually, we just ate dinner together Tuesday night," Bradshaw said Monday. "He was a really, really good guy."

Linn was a hard worker who always offered to answer a call if he was closer to the scene than other officers who were working, Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw said Linn's death makes the third police officer he has known well who was killed in a traffic accident. Bradshaw said he was friends with Senior Trooper Douglas Wayne Bland, who was the last state police trooper to be killed in the line of duty when his cruiser crashed into a Pocahontas County, W.Va., creek on Jan. 19, 1999.

Bradshaw also was a friend of Berkeley County Sheriff's Deputy John Burkett III, who was killed in an Interstate 81 crash in Franklin County, Pa., on Jan. 31, 2001.

Linn's viewing and funeral will be attended by a state police honor guard, which involves the stationing of a trooper at each end of the casket during the ceremonies, Malcomb said.

Because of his military service, Linn will be given a gun salute, Malcomb said.

Linn served in Iraq before becoming a trooper, police said.

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