Monthly Archives: March 2008

Dump Truck Flips, Kills Man

Also from the Wheeling Intelligencer:

Dump Truck Flips, Bethesda Man Dead
POSTED: March 28, 2008 Save | Print | Email | Read comments | Post a comment
Article Photos


Photo by William Daniel
Members of the Wheeling Police and Fire departments survey the scene of a fatal accident that occurred this morning on Evelyn Avenue. The driver, a Bethesda man, died at the scene when the truck crashed into a utility pole.

WHEELING — A Bethesda man died at about 8 a.m. today after the tandem dump truck he was driving crashed on Evelyn Avenue in Elm Grove.

According to Wheeling Police Sgt. William Goldbaugh, the truck carrying limestone hit a telephone pole then flipped over on its side on Evelyn Avenue. The driver, who had to be extricated from the cab by Wheeling Fire Department personnel, was the only occupant of the vehicle which was owned by a Somerton company. Goldbaugh said the accident is currently under investigation.

The victim’s name was not being released as of press time. The body was transported to Wheeling Hospital.

Wheeling Fire Chief Larry Helms said witnesses said they thought the vehicle may have been having brake problems on the steep hill before it crashed.

“I talked to the owner of the company, and he thinks the driver may have gotten lost. He was supposed to have been heading toward Cameron,” Helms noted.

Firefighters said the roof of the truck cab was partially torn off when they arrived and the driver was still in his seatbelt.

“Our guys got him out and started working on him but he was already gone,” Helms said.

No other vehicles or people were involved in the accident.

However, an American Electric Power Co. pole was split and live wires were still attached to the pole but hanging above the pavement. AEP workers were called to the scene to cut the power to allow for clean up.

Carmen Prati-Miller, American Electric Power spokesperson, said no residents were immediately left without power following the crash, but an emergency outage was slated to occur at 10:45 a.m. to restore the lines. This outage was projected to last for about two hours. Much of Elm Grove and parts of Bethlehem would be affected by this outage.

As of press time, Junior Avenue was open for passing traffic but much of the Hillsdale section was blocked off to passing traffic.

It was unknown how long it would take to clear the truck and the rocks from Evelyn Avenue.

Heather Ziegler contributed to this story


Crash Victim in Critical Condition

From the Wheeling Intelligencer:

Crash Victim in Critical Condition

By GABE WELLS Staff Writer
POSTED: March 26, 2008 Save | Print | Email | Read comments | Post a comment

WHEELING — The driver in an early Tuesday crash that critically injured a Triadelphia woman was exceeding the speed limit by at least 35 mph, an investigator said today. The Wheeling man behind the wheel reportedly admitted to drinking alcohol prior to the crash.

Justin M. Kearns, 22, of 6 Romney Road, Wheeling, was traveling at least 70 mph in a 35 mph stretch of National Road in Elm Grove at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday when the 1999 Acura left the road, struck a bus shelter and rolled on its top, according to Wheeling Police Department Sgt. Bill Goldbaugh.

Heather Miller, the passenger in the vehicle, is still being treated in intensive care at the Ohio Valley Medical Center, hospital Public Relations Director Maggie Espina said today. Miller, who is believed to be in her early 20s, was extricated from the vehicle by the Wheeling Fire Department.

According to the city police report, Kearns told an officer at the crash scene he had “a few drinks earlier in the day.” Kearns initially left the scene of the crash, but he returned and told Wheeling police he’d gone to get help. Before leaving the scene, Kearns reportedly told one witness, “Find the girl, I don’t know where she’s at.” Another witness told police the vehicle driven by Kearns was “flying around a turn toward National Road,” prior to the crash.

Kearns was arraigned Tuesday by Ohio County Magistrate Harry Radcliffe on a charge of DUI with injury, and he has since been released from the Northern Regional Jail after posting $5,000 bond. Goldbaugh said the crash is still under investigation.

3 Killed Due to Reckless Driver

From the Huntington Herald-Dispatch:

3 killed in fiery car crash in Lexington

Mar 28, 2008 @ 10:43 AM
By The Associated Press

Three people have died in a fiery car crash in Lexington.

Police say the driver of the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on Russell Cave Road about 1:40 a.m. Friday when the vehicle drifted off the left shoulder just beyond Huffman Mill Road.

Authorities say the driver was thrown from the vehicle when it struck two trees and burst into flames. The driver and two occupants of the vehicle died at the scene.

The names of the victims have not been released.

Reckless Drivers Claim More Lives

From the Buckhannon Record Delta:

Two killed in head-on crash: County roads have claimed six lives in less than a week

Modified: Monday, Mar 24th, 2008
BY: Amanda Hayes/Senior Staff Writer 3-21-08



A Buckhannon fire truck blocks part of Route 20 near Lowe’s as a 1986 Ford Ranger involved in Thursday’s fatal crash is loaded onto a tow truck. The driver of the Ford Ranger was killed when he apparently fell asleep and hit the 2008 Ford Taurus pictured below. The driver of that vehicle was also killed. Photos

by Becky Wine.

Five days after an accident killed four local young women, a head-on collision killed two people on Route 20 near Lowe’s Thursday when the driver of one vehicle apparently fell asleep.

Jeremy Jay Thomas, 19, of French Creek, died after his 1986 Ford Ranger pickup truck crossed over the center line and struck a car driven by Lynn Robert Blank, 57, of Buckhannon, according to a press release from the Buckhannon Police Department.

Blank was also killed in the accident.

Matthew Alderman, 21, of Buckhannon, was a passenger in Thomas’ vehicle. Carla J. Blank, 50, of Buckhannon, was a passenger in Blank’s vehicle. Both passengers were taken by Upshur County EMS to St. Joseph’s Hospital and later flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital.

Buckhannon Police Chief Matt Gregory said he believed they were in stable condition when they left St. Joseph’s Hospital, but their status could not be confirmed Thursday evening.

As of Friday, March 21 Carla Blank was listed in good condition and Alderman had reportedly been released.

Reports indicate that Thomas potentially fell asleep at the wheel, according to Gregory. Thomas’ vehicle was traveling south at 7 a.m. when it crossed into the other lane and hit the 2008 Ford Taurus driven by Blank in front of Lowe’s.

The Upshur County Sheriff’s Department and Buckhannon Fire Department also responded. Traffic was reduced to one lane on Route 20 North until the cars could be removed, according to Gregory.

As in all fatalities, a toxicology test has been done and the results should be back within a couple of weeks.

Thomas was a 2007 graduate of Buckhannon-Upshur High School, and Alderman is also a recent graduate of B-UHS.

Also from the Record Delta:

Man killed in Route 33 accident


Two mangled vehicles came to a rest off the side of Route 33 West on Monday after a deadly high speed collision. Kathleen Neetz, driving a Toyota minivan, was turning onto Fink Run Road when she pulled into the path of a Dodge Ram pickup truck driven by Robert Linger. Linger was ejected from the vehicle and later died due to wounds sustained in the accident.
One man died after a two-vehicle crash on Route 33 West Monday morning that sent two other people to the hospital.

Robert Linger, 46, of Rt. 9 Buckhannon, was traveling west on Route 33 in his white Dodge Ram pickup truck when he collided with a silver 2007 Toyota minivan driven by Kathleen Neetz, 51, of Buckhannon, according to a press release from the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department.

Neetz was traveling east on Route 33, slowed and was turning onto Fink Run Road across the westbound lane when the two vehicles collided.

Linger was ejected from the pickup truck after it rolled several times down an embankment. A trail of debris led from the intersection at Finks Run Road and Route 33 down to the vehicles, which came to a rest near each other.

All occupants were initially taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital. Linger died as a result of injuries sustained from the crash.

Linger’s passenger, Brandon Landis, 18, of Buckhannon, was taken to WVU Hospital but has since been released, and Neetz was taken to Davis Memorial Hospital.

Linger was a Lewis County native, according to The Weston Democrat.

The accident occurred around 11:25 a.m. and all available EMS units were called to the scene. The Buckhannon Fire Department, Warren District and Adrian volunteer fire departments also responded.

Chief Deputy Mike Coffman is the lead investigator and he was assisted by Corporal Rodney Rolenson, Sheriff Virgil D. Miller, Lt. Mark Davis and Chief Deputy M.R. Kelley. The Buckhannon detachment of the state police also assisted.

The accident remains under investigation, according to the release.

12 Year-Old Skateboarder Hit, Killed by State Police Cruiser

From the Register-Herald:

12-year-old skateboarder hit by police cruiser, killed

By Amelia A. Pridemore

Register-Herald reporter

A 12-year-old boy skateboarding on Robert C. Byrd Drive was struck by a State Police cruiser and killed early Saturday, authorities said.

Curtis Dwayne Webb, 12, of 151 Dickenson Ave., Beckley, was struck around 12:05 a.m. on Byrd Drive in Crab Orchard, according to State Police 1st Sgt. D.L. Bowles.

The southbound cruiser was driven by Trooper H.D. Stone, Bowles said. The preliminary investigation indicates the boy was riding the skateboard in the roadway.

State Police Capt. S.F. Van Meter said Stone did not see the boy. Stone has been given time off to deal with what has happened.

“The whole thing is just a tragedy,” Van Meter said.

Sgt. T.L. Williams is the investigating officer, Bowles said.

Buffalo High School Senior Dies in Wreck

From the Charleston Gazette:

Buffalo High School senior dies in wreck on Route 62

An 18-year-old Buffalo High School senior died Friday morning after losing control of the car she was driving, the Putnam County sheriff said.

Samantha Rogers was headed south on W.Va. 62 near the Toyota plant in Buffalo when she apparently lost control of the car and ran off the road, said Sheriff Mark Smith.

The car rolled over and Rogers was partially ejected, he said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

No one else was in the car and no other vehicles were involved in the accident, which happened shortly before 10 a.m., Smith said.

Smith did not know the cause of the accident.

Rogers, of Buffalo, was a cheerleader, said Buffalo High Principal Richard Grim. She was “highly involved, a very good student, well-liked,” he said.

Buffalo High is the county’s smallest high school, with fewer than 300 students.

A crisis team made up of school counselors and area pastors arrived at the school shortly after 11 a.m., Grim said.

Yet Another Chain-Reaction Crash on I-77

From the Bluefield Daily Telegraph:

Eight vehicles involved in chain-reaction crash on I-77


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — A chain-reaction crash Thursday involving three tractor-trailers and other vehicles closed a section of Interstate 77 north of the East River Mountain Tunnel.

The West Virginia State Police, units of the Green Valley-Glenwood and East River volunteer fire departments, and the Bluefield Rescue Squad were dispatched at approximately 6 p.m. after Mercer County Emergency 911 received reports of a wreck in I-77’s northbound lanes two miles north of the tunnel.

A total of eight vehicles, including the trucks, were in the crash, said Trooper M.S. Horton of the West Virginia State Police detachment in Welch. One person was transported to Princeton Community Hospital, but Horton said he did know the extent of that person’s injuries.

Horton was still investigating the cause of the wreck at press time and could not be reached for additional comment. Northbound lanes were still closed as of 8:30 p.m. According to a Virginia State Police dispatcher in Wytheville, Va., northbound motorists traveling for the Easter holiday were backed up for several miles.

At first there were concerns that one of the wrecked trucks was carrying a hazardous chemical. Lt. Scott Cornwell of the Green Valley-Glenwood Volunteer Fire Department said a truck hauling a chemical was at the scene, but it was not involved in the crash.

Both northbound lanes of I-77 were closed, and the southbound lanes were blocked for 15 minutes to allow emergency units to reach the crash scene, Cornwell said.

Officers with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department also provided assistance at the wreck site.

— Contact Greg Jordan at