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Eastern Regional Jail inmate dies

July 22, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A 47-year-old Jefferson County man arrested Tuesday and charged with driving under the influence died Wednesday morning at City Hospital in Martinsburg after being found unresponsive at Eastern Regional Jail, police said.

No foul play was suspected in the death of Donald Wayne Cline, of 31 Everhart Drive in Kearneysville, W.Va., but Berkeley County Sheriff's Lt. Gary Harmison said police still need to await the results of an autopsy to complete their investigation.

Cline was found not breathing at the jail about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday after being taken to the jail about 8 p.m. Tuesday, Harmison said.

Cline had been charged with driving under the influence, controlled substances or drugs after a two-vehicle accident on Charles Town Road (W.Va. 9) near the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, according to a complaint filed by Berkeley County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Cochran.

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A citation filed against Cline by Cochran indicates the accident happened about 6:30 p.m., according to court records.

Cline was driving a 1988 white Chevrolet S-10 pickup west on Charles Town Road when it rear-ended another vehicle, Cochran alleged in a complaint filed in Magistrate Court.

Cochran said in his complaint that while he was speaking to Cline about the accident, Cline had slurred speech and Cochran smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from him.

In the truck, Cochran said he saw a 24-ounce can of Natural Light and a puddle of beer on the floorboard near the accelerator and brake pedals, according to the complaint.

"It appeared he had spilled alcohol on his shirt during the course of the accident," Cochran wrote in his complaint.

Cline nearly fell into the roadway during field sobriety tests, Cochran said, and he stopped the examination for Cline's safety and took him into custody.

Cochran said a toximeter test at the sheriff's department showed the concentration of alcohol in Cline's blood was .005, below the legal limit of .08.

But Cline told Cochran he had taken Diazepam, also known as valium, and methadone before driving, according to Cochran's complaint.

A warrant was issued for Cline's arrest by Magistrate Joan V. Bragg.

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