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Hagerstown man pleads guilty in fatal traffic accident at Fairgrounds Park

May 18, 2010|By DON AINES

HAGERSTOWN - A Hagerstown man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court to a charge of negligent manslaughter by vehicle in a November 2009 crash that killed a 54-year-old woman at Hagerstown's Fairgrounds Park.

David Melvin Riggleman, 54, of 907 Hamilton Blvd., also pleaded guilty to driving while impaired in the death of Glenda K. Clements, also of 907 Hamilton Blvd.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Steven C. Kessell told Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. that the terms of his plea agreement call for Riggleman to receive a sentence of 10 years in prison with five years suspended.

Sentencing was delayed until June 24.

In exchange for Riggleman's guilty pleas, Kessell said the state would dismiss other charges from the case, including negligent homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, negligent homicide while driving impaired, driving under the influence, negligent driving and reckless driving.

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A Washington County grand jury indicted Riggleman in the Nov. 15, 2009, death of Clements, who was found at about 6 a.m. in an overturned 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse on a softball field at Fairgrounds Park, Kessell said.

Clements, who was belted and in the passenger seat, died of multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, Kessell said.

The vehicle was registered to Riggleman, who was not at the scene when Hagerstown Police arrived, Kessell said. Riggleman was found later that morning at his home, but told police he had no specific recollection of the accident, Kessell said.

The state could produce a witness who saw the vehicle skid through a red light near the accident scene at about 2 a.m., Kessell said. The same witness heard a crash, but could not find the accident scene in the park due to heavy fog, Kessell said.

Riggleman told police he and Clements had been out at a tavern the night before the crash.

Long allowed Riggleman to remain free on bail until sentencing, but ordered a presentence supervision for him. He also ordered Riggleman not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs.

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