Category Archives: Single Vehicle Accidents

Insurance Company Issues Report on Deer-Vehicle Collisions in West Virginia

Erie Insurance issued a report a few days ago on the PRNewswire detailing the rise in deer-vehicle collisions in West Virginia. Generally, across the country deer-vehicle collisions cause more than 200 deaths, tens of thousands of injuries, and up to 1.1 billion in property damages. But across the country, deer insurance claims have declined over the past 10 years. But the report notes that deer insurance claims frequency is highest in West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

In West Virginia, deer collisions have been on the rise for the last two years. Erie notes that in 2007, claims increased 11 percent. Apparently, in Wirt, Pleasants, Calhoun and Pocahontas Counties, drivers are three times more likely to hit a deer than in other parts of West Virginia.

Erie offers 10 tips for “bucking” the deer-vehicle collision trend:

1. Stay alert, awake and sober.
2. Always wear your seatbelt and drive at a safe, sensible speed for
3. Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors
to deter deer.
4. Deliberately watch for deer — including the reflection of deer eyes and
deer silhouettes on the shoulder of the road — particularly when driving
late at night or early in the morning.
5. Use high-beam headlights at night when there is no opposing traffic.
6. If you encounter a deer, assume nothing, slow down and blow your horn to
urge the deer to leave the road.
7. If you see a deer in or near your path, brake firmly but stay in your
8. Never swerve your vehicle to avoid striking a deer — if a collision is
imminent, hit it while maintaining full control of your vehicle.
9. If you do strike a deer, and are uncertain whether or not the deer is
dead, keep your distance.
10. If the deer is blocking the roadway, contact the Game Commission or a
local law enforcement agency.

– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Car Accident Attorney


Girl Hurt in Wreck Awarded $1.25 Million

From the Charleston Gazette:

Girl hurt in wreck gets $1.25 million

By Andrew Clevenger
Staff writer

After a four-day trial in Kanawha Circuit Court, a jury awarded more than $1.25 million to a Scarbro girl who was injured when a truck ricocheted off another truck and pinned her leg against a power pole in 2004.

Stefanie McKinney, now 14, needed 720 square centimeters of skin grafts on her leg, said her lawyer, Chad Love.

“The scarring was just unbelievable,” he said.

The jury’s verdict included $250,000 for pain and suffering, $200,000 for mental and emotional distress and $550,000 for disfigurement. In addition, the jury awarded $257,858.52 to cover McKinney’s medical bills.

McKinney was standing on a corner in Oak Hill when a 1997 Ford Ranger truck driven by John Anderson collided with a 1994 GMC truck driven by Jimmie Souder, according to the lawsuit she filed in 2006. After the impact, Anderson’s truck pinned her leg against the pole.

The jury found that Souder was 100 percent liable for the accident, and Anderson was not negligent.

Beckley lawyer Tim Hayes, who represented Souder, could not be reached on Friday.

Charleston attorney Andy Brison, who represented Anderson, said he was glad that the jury had concluded that his client was not at fault.

“It’s a tragic case. This little girl was standing there advertising her mother’s yard sale, and she gets hit like that,” Brison said.

McKinney impressed Brison as the kind of person who refused to become a lifelong victim.

“She had a really good recovery,” he said, noting that by the spring of 2005, she was playing softball, even making the all-star team. “As her dad said, she worked her butt off to get into that shape, and I agree. She’s just not going to let this get her down. She doesn’t seem like the kind of kid who would do that.”

Judge Paul Zakaib Jr. presided over the case.

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.

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.

DUI Driver Kills Passenger in Brushfork Crash

From the Bluefield Daily Telegraph:

Crash kills one

Police charge Va. man with DUI causing death


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BRUSHFORK — A Bluewell man died early Friday morning following a single-vehicle accident on Airport Road near Bluefield.

Justin Keith Matusevich, 21, of Bluewell, a passenger in the vehicle, died at Bluefield Regional Regional Medical Center shortly after the 4 a.m. crash, according to a report by Sgt. Stan Cary of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Depart-ment.

Cary said a vehicle operated by Paul Joseph Quesenberry, 21, of Falls Mills, Va., went off the road to the right, overcorrected, flipped and landed in the parking lot of the Airport Tavern. Matusevich was ejected from the vehicle, according to the report.

Cary said Quesenberry was arrested and charged with DUI, DUI causing death and possession of a controlled substance following the accident.

Quesenberry was taken to the hospital following the crash, but later released, a sheriff’s department spokeswoman said.

Quesenberry was arraigned on the charges Friday before Magistrate Jerry Flanagan, who set bond at $5,000. Quesenberry was released on bond, according to a magistrate court clerk.

Flanagan set a preliminary hearing in the case for March 20.

Cary was assisted in the investigation by Deputy W.R. Rose and Senior Deputy W.C. Wilborn. Further details were not available Friday.

Four Teens Killed in Upshur Wreck

From the Charleston Gazette:

Four teens killed in Upshur wreck

By The Associated Press

BUCKHANNON — Four teens were killed and one was injured Saturday when their vehicle lost control and struck a tree, according to the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department.

Hannah Laurel Browning, 18, of Rock Cave and Buckhannon residents Anna Rae Wamsley, 17; Lindsey Jenell Rose, 19; and Shasta T. Rutledge-Andrick, 18 were killed when their 2004 Ford F-150 pick-up truck struck a tree, according to Upshur County Chief Deputy M.R. Kelley.

Kelley said he would not identify the surviving 17-year-old female, who was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown for treatment. She was reported to be in stable condition late Sunday, Kelley said.

The incident, which occurred on Gaines Road at approximately 4:31 p.m., remains under investigation.

Some of the victims were students at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, said Kelley.

“We are suffering a great loss and although this community has suffered losses before, this is the greatest for the high school,” said Upshur County Superintendent of Schools Charles Chandler. “We are trying to offer every opportunity for these young children and adolescents to receive counseling and lean on each other.”

All schools in the county will operate on a two-hour delay to give students some time to grieve.