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Martinsburg man struck and killed on Interstate 70

August 15, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE
  • James Lloyd Weatherholtz
Submitted photo,

A Martinsburg, W.Va., man died Saturday night after he was struck by two vehicles while walking near the fast lane of Interstate 70, south of Hagerstown, Maryland State Police and family members said.

The first vehicle to hit James Lloyd Weatherholtz, 20, continued west on I-70 without stopping, state police said. The incident occurred shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday near the Sharpsburg Pike exit.

Anyone who might have witnessed the incident or who has any information about the first vehicle to hit Weatherholtz may call Trooper 1st Class R. Shaffer with Maryland State Police at 301-739-2102.

Weatherholtz had been involved in an argument while driving west on I-70 before the Sharpsburg Pike exit, according to the state police's preliminary investigation. He pulled the vehicle to the shoulder of the road and got out, then started walking down the shoulder between the interstate and the median, police said.

Police said witnesses reported Weatherholtz was walking on the yellow line separating the shoulder of the highway from the fast lane when he was struck by an unknown vehicle.

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Weatherholtz was then struck by a second vehicle, a 1998 Chevy Venture minivan driven by Milagro Cordero of New Jersey, police said.

Emergency medical service and fire crews were called to the scene, but Weatherholtz did not survive, police said.

All lanes of westbound I-70, east of the Sharpsburg Pike exit, were closed for about two hours during the investigation, police said.

Weatherholtz's grandmother, Esther Weatherholtz, said her grandson was on the phone with his father when he was walking along the highway. His dad was not the one with whom he had been arguing, she said.

James Lloyd Weatherholtz was the son of Donald Lloyd Weatherholtz Jr. and May Smith, both of Martinsburg, Esther Weatherholtz said.

Weatherholtz and his father had been working on James' car on and off for the past month, she said.

"James and his dad spent all day Saturday together," gathering furniture to take to James' girlfriend's grandmother, she said.

"They spent the whole day together yesterday. Thank God they got to spend one-on-one time," said Esther Weatherholtz, 62, of Martinsburg.

She said her grandson, whom she called Jamie, lived with her from about the ages of 8 to 13. His dad lived there, too, she said.

Her grandson knew she got paid on Tuesdays, and used to look forward to going to dinner and a movie with her on Tuesday nights, she said.

"When he'd come (home) from school, he'd run in and change and get ready to go," she said.

James Weatherholtz enjoyed working on cars and spending time with his daughter, Trinity, 3, said his aunt, Susan Foltz of Martinsburg.

"He was a very outgoing person. Caring. Loved his kid and his family," said Joseph Wilfong, 28, of Martinsburg.

Wilfong's wife, Amanda Foltz, is James' cousin.

"He was a very good father," Wilfong said of Weatherholtz, who he said lived in Martinsburg.

Wilfong said Weatherholtz took Trinity to the park, to Walmart and to the Martinsburg Mall.

In an e-mail to The Herald-Mail, May Smith said her son and Trinity played ball, made funny shapes with Play-Doh and played dress-up.

"Trinity was his life. She was a daddy's girl," Smith wrote.

"James even taught her the numbers in Spanish," Smith wrote. "James loved his daughter so much and now, sadly, she is gonna miss him."

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