Monthly Archives: February 2008

Truck Driver Indicted in Fatal Nicholas County Wreck

From the Beckley Register-Herald:

Truck driver indicted in fatal wreck

Chrissy Boone
Register-Herald Correspondent

SUMMERSVILLE — A grand jury called by a special prosecutor has indicted a Pennsylvania truck driver in connection with an accident in Nicholas County a year ago that killed a Fayette County man.

The grand jury indicted Richard Cyphert, 34, of Knox, Pa., on charges of negligent homicide and failure to maintain control in the Feb. 27, 2007, death of Tommy F. Ramsey Jr., 30, of Edmond, on U.S. 19 near Mount Lookout.

Special prosecutor Tom MacAulay of Raleigh County presented the case to the grand jury. MacAulay was assigned to the case after Ramsey’s family persisted in pursuing charges against Cyphert. Nicholas County Prosecutor Mark Hudnall declined to present the matter to a grand jury, stating he did not believe there was enough evidence to support a conviction.

According to the accident report completed by Nicholas sheriff’s Cpl. Walter Shafer and Deputy Jarod Lane, Ramsey, driving a pickup truck, was following a tractor-trailer driven by his cousin, Eddie Orval Ramsey Jr., 26, of Edmond. Eddie Ramsey’s tractor-trailer had experienced mechanical problems earlier, and both he and his cousin were traveling south on U.S. 19 at about 50 mph with their flashers on.

The accident report said Tommy Ramsey’s pickup truck was then struck in the rear by Cyphert’s tractor-trailer, pushing the pickup into the back of Eddie Ramsey’s tractor-trailer.

The accident report said the roadway was dry and weather conditions were clear. Cyphert was not cited.

Negligent homicide is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of a year in jail.

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Tanker Truck Overturns in Raleigh County

From the Beckley Register-Herald:

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C.L. Garvin / Register-Herald Photographer

Overturned tanker

C.L. Garvin
Register-Herald Photographer

Personnel from the Trap Hill Volunteer Fire Department along with Jan-Care and Best ambulances work to extricate the driver of a tanker truck that overturned on W.Va. 3 in Eccles Tuesday. According to the Raleigh County Emergency Operations Center, W.Va. 3 near Old Eccles Road was closed after the accident. Evergreen Environmental Management was called to the scene to clean up spilled diesel fuel, and the driver was believed to have been taken to a local hospital. The wreckage was reportedly cleaned up by late afternoon.

Snowy Weather Causing Accidents in Greenbrier County

From the Charleston Gazette:

Truck flips, closes I-64 in Greenbrier

A tractor-trailer flipped on its side, closing Interstate 64 near Dawson to eastbound traffic on Wednesday, a Greenbrier County 911 dispatcher said.

Members of the Smoot and Clintonville Volunteer Fire Departments shut down the interstate because of snowy weather conditions just before 8 p.m. after responding to the overturned trailer, she said.

Slippery conditions caused a number of accidents on I-64 Wednesday evening, including one near the state line, she said.

None of the accidents involved serious injuries, she said.

Update in Fayette County Tanker Truck Collision

From the Beckley Register-Herald:

Wreck victim identified as Fayette woman

Register-Herald Reporter

A Fayette County woman has been identified as one of two people killed in a collision involving a vehicle and a tanker truck, authorities in Nicholas County said.

However, the identity of the second victim in the Saturday’s crash has yet to be confirmed.

Vickie Akers, 51, of 56 Riverview Drive, Charlton Heights, was killed in the crash, the sheriff’s office said. She was a passenger in a 1995 Jeep Wrangler. The male driver was also killed, but Chief Deputy Wayne Plummer said the man’s identity has not been officially confirmed by the state medical examiner’s office.

The accident occurred around 3:30 a.m. on W.Va. 39 in Canvas. Apparently, the driver of the Wrangler veered left of center and struck the tanker truck head-on, the sheriff’s office said.

The Wrangler reportedly caught fire after impact, according to the Nicholas Emergency Operations Center.

The tanker truck’s driver, 63-year-old Peery M. Angles Jr., of Roanoke, Va., was not injured.

The accident remains under investigation.

— Amelia A. Pridemore

Beckley Police Officer Involved in Accident

From the Beckley Register-Herald:

Beckley officer involved in accident on Robert C. Byrd Drive

The Register-Herald

A Beckley police officer was involved in a two-vehicle accident Saturday night.

Beckley Police Chief Tim Deems said the officer was headed northbound on Robert C. Byrd Drive in response to an apparent fight call when the accident occurred near Arby’s.

Both the officer, whose name is not being released at this time, and the driver of the other vehicle, who was also not being identified, were transported to unknown hospitals. Deems was uncertain of the condition of either driver.

The wreck investigation is being handled by the State Police.

No other information was available as of press time.

2 Killed in Nicholas County Jeep, Tanker Truck Collision

From the Beckley Register-Herald:

2 killed in Nicholas Jeep, tanker truck collision

Amelia A. Pridemore
Register-Herald Reporter

Two people were killed in Nicholas County early Saturday morning after a Jeep Wrangler and a tanker truck collided, authorities said.

The accident on W.Va. 39 in Canvas was reported to the Nicholas County Emergency Operations Center around 3 a.m. Saturday. The circumstances of the accident were under investigation by the Nicholas County Sheriff’s Department.

The two people killed were inside the Wrangler, the EOC said. The tanker truck’s driver was not injured. The Wrangler reportedly caught fire after impact.

W.Va. 39 was closed for an unknown length of time after the accident, the EOC said.

The victims’ bodies have been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for identification, the EOC said.

No further information was available Saturday.

Two Killed in Goldtown I-77 Crash

Note: Here you have two Home Depot employees traveling in an SUV, they lose control, possibly due to ice, and collide with a UPS tractor trailer. This case presents some complex issues. The article doesn’t actually say who was killed, but I am assuming it was the two Home Depot employees. Even assuming the driver of the SUV was negligent, which is an issue because the roads were icy, there are some potentially complex issues: Two sets of employees, both large companies. One of the vehicles was a UPS truck, the other was an SUV. Was the SUV owned by Hope Depot, or was it the private vehicle of the driver? Could the driver – and hence his private insurance policy – be liable? Were the Home Depot employees actually acting in the course of business? Does workers compensation immunity apply? Was the UPS driver negligent? Was the UPS driver injured? – John H. Bryan, West Virginia car accident attorney.

From today’s Charleston Gazette:

Two killed in Goldtown I-77 crash

By Staff, wire reports

Two people were killed Wednesday morning when a tractor-trailer struck the SUV they were traveling in on Interstate 77 near Goldtown, said B.W. DeWees, chief deputy for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

Michael D. Ferrier, 39, of Vincent, Ohio, and Amanda Diane Vaughan, 23, of Vienna, who were both Home Depot employees, were traveling from the Parkersburg store to the Charleston store, he said.

The accident happened around 7:30 a.m., DeWees said.

“As the SUV was passing a UPS tractor-trailer, the SUV ran off the road into the median, lost control, came back up into the roadway in front of the tractor-trailer,” he said. “The tractor-trailer was unable to stop and struck the vehicle.”

Ferrier was driving, and no other vehicles were involved in the accident, he said.

The snowy conditions may have contributed to the accident, DeWees said.

Also Wednesday, four people died in Jefferson County after the van they were in collided with a tractor-trailer on U.S. 340 near Harpers Ferry.

Sgt. Robert Sell with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department said the driver of the westbound van lost control due to icy conditions and slid into the eastbound lane, colliding head-on with the truck at about 6:40 a.m.

The three passengers in the van were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was taken to Jefferson Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m., said Sell.

The names of the victims weren’t immediately available.