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Two killed, three hurt in W.Va. crashes

November 12, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

EASTERN PANHANDLE, W.Va. -- Three accidents in the Eastern Panhandle in a span of a little more than 12 hours left at least two people dead and three others injured, police and emergency officials said.

Carey Dean, 23, of the Hedgesville, W.Va., area, was pronounced dead Monday night after the red Chevrolet Blazer she was driving west on W.Va. 9 went off the road near the Hedgesville Post Office and flipped a couple times, Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Deputy Sgt. D.L. Steerman said.

The one-vehicle accident, which was reported at 8:40 p.m., shut down W.Va. 9 (Hedgesville Road) for about two hours, Steerman said.

Less than 12 hours after he left the scene in Hedgesville, Medical Examiner Donald Shirley handled a second fatal accident scene on W.Va. 9 (Charles Town Road) in Ranson, W.Va.

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A man who was thrown from the vehicle was pronounced dead shortly after the Jefferson County Ambulance Authority and the Independent and Citizens fire companies were dispatched to the accident scene Tuesday about 6:45 a.m., Shirley said.

The man's identity was not immediately available from the Ranson Police Department.

The accident between Charles Town Road's intersections with Oak Lee Drive and Flowing Springs Road caused traffic to be tied up for about 90 minutes, Independent Fire Co. Chief Ed Smith said.

A few hours after the Ranson accident, one person reportedly was flown to a trauma center after a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle collided in the 3000 block of U.S. 522 south of Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

"One person was flown out by helicopter," Donald Perry said from his vantage point at the Southern Belle Truck Stop near the accident scene.

Perry said the tractor-trailer still was on its wheels, but was across all lanes of the highway. Traffic was blocked in both directions, he said.

"There's a big wrecker out there now," Perry said at 10:25 a.m.

The Morgan County Sheriff's Department was handling the investigation and further details were not available.

The Ranson accident involved two pickups -- a Ford and a Dodge -- that collided in the westbound lanes of Charles Town Road, Smith said.

Two passengers riding in the Ford pickup were found outside the vehicle, but Smith said they were conscious and he did not believe they received life-threatening injuries. They were taken to Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson for treatment, he said.

While the Ford was found pushed up against the guardrail along the westbound lanes, the Dodge truck went over the barrier and down an embankment that Smith said was about a 75-foot drop.

The Dodge was found about 150 feet from the other vehicle, and Smith said it appeared the victim was "self-ejected" from the vehicle and might not have been wearing a seat belt.

Steerman could not say whether Dean was wearing a seat belt or what factors might have caused her to lose control of the sport-utility vehicle in the Monday night crash on Hedgesville Road.

It appeared Dean "overcorrected" when the vehicle went off the road and into a drainage ditch, Steerman said.

The SUV flipped when a rear tire became caught in the ditch, and Dean was thrown from the vehicle, Steerman said.

Formerly of Brunswick, Md., Dean was living in Hedgesville with her boyfriend, according to police and people who knew her.

Dean attended Brunswick (Md.) High School, a former classmate said.

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