While sitting at a red-light in Beckley Saturday, Governor Jim Justice’s vehicle was rear-ended by a driver allegedly under the influence of marijuana.
According to Beckley Police, at approximately 1:10 p.m. Saturday afternoon a patrolman was dispatched to the intersection of Harper Road and Hylton Lane to a report of a motor vehicle accident.
When the officer arrived, the intersection was being managed by the governor’s State Police security detail and the officer was able to discern that the driver of the second car, Joshua Lucas, 20, ran into the rear of the vehicle being driven by the governor.
After further investigation, the release said, the officer began to believe that Lucas may have been under the influence of a drug and requested that a drug recognition expert with the department be sent to the scene to perform tests on Lucas.
The second officer determined that Lucas was under the influence of marijuana, according to the BPD release.
Lucas has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs and failure to maintain control and is currently being held in the Southern Regional Jail.
No one involved was taken to a hospital.
Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice were in Beckley to lay flowers on their parent’s graves at Sunset Memorial Park.
“I hate like crazy that this happened, but in some ways I’m glad he hit me because if the driver had not hit our Suburban, at the rate of speed he was going on the wet, slick roads, he probably would have traveled through the intersection and broadsided another vehicle,” the governor said in a release. “Fortunately for all, this could have been a tragedy, but this is a far better outcome.”
According to the governor’s news release, while he and his wife were not taken to the hospital, they are being monitored for any injuries.
“Cathy and I are thankful for the quick reaction of the State Police security and the Beckley City Police,” Justice said.
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