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.

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