The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Police/Courts

April 15, 2014

Vehicle strikes guardrail, then pedestrian

BRUSHFORK — A Flat Top resident was charged Monday with driving under the influence and driving while suspended after the car she was driving hit a pedestrian on Brushfork Road.

The incident occurred at approximately 6:20 p.m. on Route 123, Brushfork Road, near Coppolo’s Mobile Home Park. An Oldsmobile Alero driven by Denise Rochester, 40, of Flat Top, was traveling toward Brushfork when her vehicle veered off the right shoulder, hit a guardrail, spun out of control and struck Justin Belcher, 29, formerly of Athens, according to Lt. J.E. “Joe” Parks of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.

Belcher, Rochester, and her passenger, Joseph Bratton, 32, of Bluefield, were transported to Bluefield Regional Medical Center. Their conditions were not available Monday.

At the hospital, Belcher said he jumped on the guardrail to dodge the car when he saw it coming toward him, Parks stated. Belcher had a broken left leg and head injuries.

Rochester was charged with DUI and driving suspended, Parks said. Rochester was still unconscious Monday evening, Parks said. The crash is still under investigation.

The Bluewell Volunteer Fire Department and the Bluefield Rescue Squad were also dispatched to the scene.

A small dog, a black Chihuahua mix, left Rochester’s car while firefighters were working to clear the wreckage. People in the community attempted to catch it, but it ran away, Parks said. It was still missing Monday evening.

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