The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

June 7, 2009

Police: Highway fight preceded fatal crash

By Amelia A. Pridemore

Summers County deputies say four people were fighting in the middle of the road when an oncoming car struck them all, killing two.

Philip Sheridan Ormsbee, 49, and Thomas Edward Biggs, 24, both of Alderson, were dead at the scene in Pence Springs, Summers County Sheriff’s Cpl. T.J. Cochran said. Tedrina Sunshine Spinks, 32, also of Alderson, was critically injured and taken to Greenbrier Valley Medical Center in Fairlea, the nearest facility. Her condition was unknown Sunday evening.

Cochran said Jennifer Carter, no age available, of Alderson, was knocked into a ditch and sustained only minor injuries. She was also taken to Greenbrier Valley Medical Center.

Ormsbee, Biggs, Spinks and Carter had left a bar in Green Valley about 3 a.m. Saturday and were en route to Alderson on W.Va. 3, Cochran said. An altercation broke out inside the vehicle, and the group stopped. All four got out of the vehicle and began fist-fighting in the middle of the road, according to police.

Judson Yopp, 23, of Talcott, was driving a 1998 Ford Escort west on W.Va. 3, Cochran said. Yopp told police he did not see the four people until it was too late. He hit the brakes, but he was unable to stop.

Yopp and a passenger in his vehicle, Mike Gore, no age available, of Talcott, did not appear to be badly injured, Cochran said. They were both taken to Summers County ARH Hospital.

Cochran said all four of the people who were struck were intoxicated. Three hours before the accident, Summers County deputies were called to a Glen Ray mobile home, where all had been drinking. The call concerned a domestic dispute allegedly involving Spinks, but none of the others. But any altercation then was only verbal. Parties involved were separated and no one was arrested.

Yopp’s blood will be tested as a precautionary measure, Cochran said, but deputies at the scene and hospital employees said he did not appear to be intoxicated.

Cochran said no charges have been filed at this time.

Deputies J.L. Farmer and S.E. Conner investigated the accident.

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