Suit alleges cover-up in former Charles Town officer's accident

CHARLES TOWN – A Jefferson County woman is accusing the Charles Town Police Department of covering-up evidence of a retired officer's intoxicated driving that resulted in her incurring serious and permanent injuries.

Katie Danner filed suit in Jefferson Circuit Court against Raymond Burcker on March 15. In her suit, Danner, 20, of Shenandoah Junction, alleges Burcker, 62, of Charles Town, not only was intoxicated the evening he collided with her on W. Va. 9 in February, but also CTPD knew about it, yet attempted to pin blame on her.

According to the suit, a Burcker's vehicle collided with the one Danner was driving around 7:15 p.m. on Feb. 23 at the intersection of W.Va. 9 and Crosswinds Dr. The collision caused Danner's vehicle to rollover multiple times.

Following the collision, Burcker was taken to Jefferson Memorial Hospital. During his treatment, the suit alleges, he "was observed by numerous nursing personnel and other medical providers to be under the influence of alcohol."

According to the suit, as a result of the collision Danner "suffered extensive physical injuries." Specifically, along with broken vertebrae in her neck and back, "every bone in [her] face was broken, [and] she has lost the sight, possibly permanently, of her left eye."

Following the collision, charges were brought against Danner "alleging violation of traffic laws on the evening of February 23, 2012." The suit does not specify what they are or where they were filed.

However, Danner alleges the charges were brought "by current employees of the Charles Town, West Virginia Police Department, acting in concert with each other and with Defendant Burcker, conspired to cover up [his] operation of his motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol." The suit names John Does 1-99 as co-defendants.

As a result of the defendants' actions, Danner maintains she, and her 1-year-old daughter, Massie, who was with her with the collision occurred, and is a co-plaintiff in the suit, suffered not only "physical injuries to their bodies," but also "mental anguish (including emotional and mental distress, embarrassment, humiliation, loss of personal dignity, and inconvenience)." Danner's suit makes claims against Burcker separately for negligence and gross negligence and recklessness and a claim against he and John Does 1-99 together for conspiracy to deny substantive and procedural due process rights.

Danner seeks unspecified damages, interest and attorneys fees. She is represented by Charleston attorney William V. DePaulo.

The case is assigned to Judge David H. Saunders.

Jefferson Circuit Court case number 12-C-103

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