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Charles Town man charged in fatal W.Va. 51 crash

October 20, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. -- A 31-year-old Charles Town, W.Va., man was charged with causing the death of a Winchester, Va., man last week while driving under the influence on Middleway Pike (W.Va. 51) near Inwood, W.Va., according to charging documents filed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court. 

Stuart Aaron Woodling, of 3137 Shirley Road, was arraigned Tuesday morning by Magistrate JoAnn Overington on a charge of DUI causing death. Overington set a $50,000 bond, according to court records.

James W. Shell Jr., 59, was pronounced dead at the accident scene in the 2600 block of Middleway Pike shortly after the accident was reported Oct. 13 at 4:16 a.m., according to emergency officials and police.

Woodling appeared to be intoxicated and testing later showed that the defendant had a blood-alcohol concentration of .202, above the legal limit of .08, according to a complaint filed by West Virginia State Police Trooper P.S. Kennedy.

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Woodling also tested positive for cocaine, Kennedy said in his complaint.

Woodling, who was driving a gray Ford F-250 truck, and Mark Steven Geaghan, a passenger in Shell's vehicle, were taken to City Hospital in Martinsburg for treatment of minor injuries, police said.

Shell, driving a white Toyota Tacoma east on W.Va. 51, attempted to avoid the collision with the F-250, but it was too far over in the victim's lane, according to a statement obtained from Geaghan, Kennedy said in his complaint.

A Richmond, Va., native, Shell was the principal water resources planner of the Metropolitan Washington (D.C.) Council of Governments staff, the agency said in a news release last week.

"He was a major player in assisting the region with water security, emergency water supply and drought- response planning, pollution prevention, hydrilla harvesting, wastewater management, Potomac River and Anacostia (River) restoration, and many other accomplishments," according to the release. "He was a gentle and kind colleague and friend, and will be deeply missed."

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