By Brian Hess
Staff Writer 

Motorists Not Stopping For School Bus, M-burg Council Told

 


Martinsburg Borough Council placed one of its police officers on administrative leave March 2, stemming from an incident on Feb. 26.

The action is normal following an officer’s discharge of his service weapon in the line of duty.

Council voted to place Sgt. Justin Davis on administrative leave, pending an investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police, Hollidaysburg (PSP).

The officer was involved in the shooting of an East Freedom man on the evening of Feb. 26. While on patrol, Sgt. Davis noticed that Willis Truman Irvin Clark, 32, was driving a car with expired tags. When the officer turned on his patrol car lights to conduct a traffic stop, Clark sped away up North First Alley, traveling the wrong way, according to police reports.

Police said that Clark hit speeds of 100 mph traveling east along Cove Mountain Road. The vehicle crashed about 1.4 miles from Martinsburg Borough. Clark and his female passenger got out of the vehicle and began to run. Sgt. Davis yelled for Clark to stop. When Clark turned around and aimed a pistol at the officer, Sgt. Davis fired a shot that struck the driver in the abdomen, according to police reports.


Clark was taken to UPMC Altoona and arraigned by video conference by Magisterial District Judge Andy Blattenberger, Martinsburg. The investigation is ongoing.

Also on Monday night, council voted to purchase two signs that read “School Bus Stop Ahead.” The signs will be placed on the 200 and 500 blocks of South Market Street.

Richard Brantner Jr., borough manager, said he received a call from someone who witnessed a car not stopping for a school bus that was stopped in front of The Village at Morrisons Cove. Police Chief Kerry L. Hoover said the police department has also received some complaints regarding motorists not obeying the signals of stopped school buses in front of The Village.

“When we are on patrol there, motorists obey the law,” Hoover said. “But we can't be there every day.”

Officials also noted that motorists don’t always stop for the school bus despite a person wearing a reflective vest and waving a flag in the middle of the street, alerting the stopped school bus.

Brantner said that PennDOT gave approval to the borough for the placement of the signs.

Council approved the sale of the borough's 1975 Chevy dump truck for $500 to Shawn Daughenbaugh.

Council scheduled its clean-up day for borough-residents only for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. Brantner said fliers will be mailed to residents around the beginning of April.

 

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