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Two Inmates In W.Va. Escape By Crashing Through Gate

November 17, 1988

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) _ Two convicted murderers working in a West Virginia Penitentiary motor pool escaped Wednesday when one stole a truck and crashed through a gate and the second followed in a car, the warden said.

The truck was abandoned a block away, and authorities said they believe the two fled in the car, a gold sedan with a state Corrections Department symbol on each side.

Warden Jerry Hedrick said he believes the two fled to Ohio.

″The only reason we feel this was we had a report from a truck driver who said he was almost struck by a vehicle fitting the description of the ... car,″ Hedrick said.

He said the near collision occurred on the Moundsville 12th Street Bridge, which leads to Ohio.

The escape occurred about 3:40 p.m. when the truck crashed through a gate. The maintenance shop and motor pool area is outside the 122-year-old prison’s walls and is surrounded by a chain-link fence, Hedrick said.

Hedrick identified the escapees as Freddie Rakes, 29, and Dickie Wimmer, 36.

Rakes is serving a life term without parole on a first-degree murder conviction and a 75-year sentence on a robbery conviction, Hedrick said. He entered the penitentiary March 19, 1981.

Wimmer is serving two life sentences, one without parole, for first-degree murder convictions, he said. He had been in the state prison since June 27, 1979.

The two men were working in the state car motor pool, one as a mechanic and the other on automobile bodies.

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