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Halfway man dies in crash

January 19, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

Due to a source's error, a story on page A1 of Saturday's edition of The Herald-Mail about a man who was killed Friday in an accident on Interstate 81 in Berkeley County, W.Va., had an incorrect middle name for him. His name was Thomas Earl Carter Sr.

The Herald-Mail apologizes for the error.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Halfway man who died Friday morning in a traffic accident on northbound Interstate 81 in Berkeley County, W.Va., might have experienced a medical ailment or fallen asleep before the crash happened, police said.

Thomas Earl Carter Sr., 79, of 1110 Lakeview Drive, was pronounced dead at the scene, about a half-mile north of Exit 20, the exit for Spring Mills, W.Va., police and officials said.

Carter, an employee of The Herald-Mail Co., was driving a 2003 Chevrolet van that ran off the right side of the road, struck an embankment and turned back onto the highway, where it struck an empty tanker trailer being hauled by a 2006 Mack truck, according to Deputy Lt. R.L. Gardner of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

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The driver of the truck, Frank T. Ives of Chesapeake, Md., was treated for neck and back pain at City Hospital in Martinsburg and released, Gardner said.

The accident closed the northbound lanes of I-81 for about two hours.

Carter was employed in The Herald-Mail's packaging and distribution department in Hagerstown.

"Tom was a good person who did a great job for us for years," Herald-Mail Editor and Publisher John League said Friday.

"It's hard to believe," that this happened, he said. "We'll miss him."

Carter had been employed part time with The Herald-Mail since 1992, primarily handling dock duties.

"Tom was one of the hardest-working employees we've ever had," packaging foreman Archie Schminkey said. "It sounds like a clich, but he was willing to do whatever was asked of him, at any time. He never made any trouble for anyone, and just came in and did his job, day in and day out."

Before joining The Herald-Mail, Carter worked for 46 years for Maryland Maid Kitchens as a truck driver.

Carter's death was the third fatality on Interstate 81 this week in Berkeley County.

A second accident occurred about 35 minutes later in the northbound lanes of I-81 at mile marker 19, according to investigating West Virginia State Police Trooper G.D. Simms.

Brooke Mills, 22, of Martinsburg, was cited for failure to use due care after the Nissan Altima she was driving crashed into two vehicles that were slowing down because of the first accident, Simms said.

Mills was taken to City Hospital for treatment of injuries that Simms did not believe were life-threatening.

Jason Evans, a passenger riding with her, was taken to a hospital in Maryland, and Simms said he did not believe Evans' injuries were life-threatening.

The drivers of the other vehicles, Lydia Lehman, 27, of Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Daniel Hatcher, 48, of Ranson, W.Va., were not injured, Simms said.

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