By Brandi Underwood
The Labor Day weekend was a deadly one for Fayette County motorists with a total of six people perishing in three separate accidents.
In the latest, emergency responders received a call about 2:30 p.m. Monday regarding a single-car rollover on U.S. 60 near Hico. A release from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office stated that upon arrival to the scene, rescue workers found one victim ejected from the vehicle, one victim partly ejected from the rear window of the vehicle, and one victim entrapped in the overturned vehicle.
Two victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Their names are yet to be released pending notification of their next of kin.
The third victim, Daniel Allen Smith, 32, of Fayetteville, was extricated from the back window by fire rescue personnel, after which EMS personnel performed life-sustaining measures on him. He was airlifted from the scene and transported to Charleston Area Medical Center, where he is described to be in “stable” condition. The two deceased individuals were transported to Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home in Fayetteville for examination by an investigator from the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
The preliminary investigation of the accident indicates that the Pontiac Sunfire was traveling at extremely high rates of speed going east on U.S. 60 and was engaged in passing vehicles. Witnesses said that when attempting to re-enter the right lane, the driver of the vehicle, currently unknown, lost control and struck an embankment, causing the car to begin rolling and land on its top in the middle of the roadway, according to information released by the sheriff’s office.
“It is not known at this time whether drugs or alcohol were factors in this collision, but statements from witnesses at the scene indicate that excessive speed and reckless driving certainly played a role in this collision,” said Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler.
A unit from General Ambulance was first to respond to the scene after witnessing the wreck. Additional EMS units from General Ambulance, Jan Care Ambulance, units from Ansted and Nuttall Fire Departments and deputies from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.
Early Monday morning, a single-car accident left one woman dead in Oak Hill after her southbound vehicle left the roadway and struck the pylon of the Main Street overpass on U.S. 19.
Emergency responders received a call at 12:55 a.m. reporting a single-car rollover underneath the bridge at the Main Street exit. Oak Hill Police, Oak Hill Volunteer Fire Department and Jan-Care Ambulance responded to the scene.
According to Oak Hill Police Chief Mark Whisman, the victim, identified as 40-year-old Mary Jo Danham of Fairmont, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Whisman said alcohol and excessive speed may be contributing factors to the incident.
The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the third victim of Saturday night’s fatal single-car rollover on W.Va. 612 in the Mossy area.
Donna Moran, 52, of Scarbro was killed along with Robert Dean Manning, 54, and Edward “Eddy” Miller, both also of Scarbro.
Fayette Sheriff Steve Kessler said officials believe it was an “alcohol and speed-related incident.”
Investigators have been unable to determine which of the three was operating the vehicle, but the truck’s registration was in Manning’s name.
“It is tragic that so many people have lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents this holiday weekend,” said Kessler. “We are fortunate, however, that these collisions were not worse than they were. Each of these incidents involved a single vehicle. If other vehicles had been involved, the number of deaths and serious injuries could have been far greater.”
Individuals with any information pertaining to any of these accidents is asked to contact the Fayette County 911 Center at 304-574-3590.
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