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Two killed in W.Va. crash

March 28, 2009

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Two men died Friday night when a pickup truck struck a tree and overturned off of U.S. 340 near the West Virginia-Virginia state line, the Jefferson County (W.Va.) Sheriff's Department said.

Austin Cropper, 21, and Kevin Butts, 30, both of Clarke County, Va., were pronounced dead at the scene, Sgt. Robert Sell said.

The crash happened Friday about 10:50 p.m., Sell said.

Cropper was northbound on U.S. 340 in a 1992 Dodge Dakota pickup truck when the crash happened, Sell said. Butts was a passenger in the pickup truck.

Initial investigation revealed the truck ran off the right side of the road and slid on the grassy shoulder into a small group of trees and brush, Sell said. The impact with the trees and brush caused the truck to spin around and hit a larger tree, then overturn, he said.

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Investigators believe weather conditions and speed were factors in the crash, Sell said. It had been raining and the road and shoulder were slick, he said.

U.S. 340 was closed in both directions from 11 p.m. until 2:30 a.m., Sell said.

-- Heather Keels

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