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Report says Trooper had lost control of vehicle

December 13, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - A West Virginia State Police trooper, who was killed Nov. 4 on W.Va. 9 when he lost control of his cruiser, was passing westbound traffic just before the crash, according to a state police officer who performed a reconstruction report on the accident.

Trooper Brian W. Linn was wearing a seat belt while driving, Sgt. Geoff Petsko said.

When Linn was passing westbound traffic, he observed eastbound traffic and was able to get back into his westbound lane of travel, Petsko said Wednesday.

Petsko said he thinks that is when Linn lost control of his cruiser.

After pulling his cruiser right, Linn probably jerked the car left and lost control, Petsko said.

Linn's cruiser skidded off the left side of the highway and struck an embankment. The roof of the cruiser struck a utility pole, Petsko said.

The utility pole was broken in half, and Linn's cruiser rolled two times before coming to rest in a field, Petsko said.

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The cruiser probably was traveling at least 79 mph, but not much faster than that, Petsko said.

State police officials did not have any problem with the speed Linn was traveling, Petsko said Wednesday night.

Linn and two other officers were westbound on W.Va. 9 to help another trooper who was chasing someone on foot near Sheetz a short distance up the road, police said.

Linn was about a half-mile west of Wiltshire Road when his cruiser struck the utility pole across from a Jefferson Orchards Inc. sign.

Local emergency officials said the section of W.Va. 9 where Linn wrecked has been the scene of many fatal car crashes over the last 25 years.

While the section of the road is largely straight, the large number of crashes probably can be attributed to heavy traffic flow and the tendency for many motorists to pass in the area, Del. Bob Tabb, D-W.Va., said previously.

Tabb is chief of fire police for the Independent Fire Co.

Linn, 25, of Martinsburg, was remembered by local police as a hardworking officer who was fun to work with.

Linn was survived by his wife, Melissa, and two daughters, Paige, 9, and Madeline, 2.

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