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Fatal Accident Case Going to Grand Jury

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

It's a case involving an officer and a citizen, resulting in a fatality.

Now, a Wood County Grand Jury will decide whether or not a police officer will face charges in connection with a fatal accident.

Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Jason Wharton says a police pursuit started at a 7-11 on Grand Central Avenue in Vienna last Thursday.

Charles Martin II was suspected of drinking and driving, and authorities say when Sergeant Brian Ingraham approached Martin, he fled.

Authorities say Sgt. Ingraham then followed Martin, but backed off when the speed picked up.

Then when he finally caught up to him more than two miles down the road, Martin had crashed and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The case was investigated by the Wood County Crash Team, but excluded any representatives from the Vienna Police Department.

"Anytime there's an officer involved in an incident such as this, we try to bring in officers from outside agencies, so there's no question at all about the investigation itself," Wharton said.

After determining Sgt. Ingraham followed department protocol and West Virginia law, the case is still set to go to a grand jury.

"I think the public can have a lot better feeling about the case knowing that 16 members of the public just like themselves will hear all of the evidence in the case and be able to decide for themselves," Wharton said.

Wharton says they're still waiting for the toxicology report to determine if Martin had in fact been drinking.

He says the next Wood County Grand Jury is set to meet in September.


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