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Accidents

Accidents

West Virginia Accidents   150406

The Gilmer Free Press

CAR CRASHES INTO HOME IN MONONGALIA COUNTY

The Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department is investigating how a car somehow crashed into a home on Saturday afternoon.
It happened on Van Voorhis Road in Morgantown.

There’s no word yet on how this happened or if there were any injuries.

West Virginia Accidents   150403

The Gilmer Free Press

TRACTOR TRAILER OVERTURNS IN PRESTON COUNTY AFTER LOSING BRAKES

A tractor trailer lost its brakes on Cheat Mountain in Preston County.

The truck, loaded with potting soil, was travelling along U.S. Hwy 50 on Cheat Mountain when it lost its brakes and struck a pickup truck travelling in the opposite direction.

While attempting to negotiate a turn, the tractor trailer overturned.

The passengers of the tractor trailer, Bernard Eccles Jr., age 53, and Denekia Cummings, age 52, both of Detroit, were transported by EMS for evaluation.

The driver of the pickup truck, James Arman, age 21, of Thomas, WV, was also transported by EMS.


TREE FALLS ON CALHOUN COUNTY MAN

A 44-year-old Cahoun County man is suffering from broken leg when a tree fell on him.

The accident happened on Sams Run on Thursday about Noon.

Minnie Hamilton EMS and the Upper West Fork VFD responded to the incident off Beech Road, identified as the Guy Knicely residence.

The man was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center.

West Virginia Accidents   150402

The Gilmer Free Press

NO INJURIES IN TANK FIRE AT WELL PAD IN MARSHALL COUNTY

MOUNDSVILLE, WV - An emergency official says no one was injured when a storage tank fire broke out at a drilling well pad in Marshall County.

Marshall County Emergency Management director Tom Hart says the fire was reported around 4:45 AM Wednesday at Gastar Exploration’s Armstrong pad near the Wetzel County line.

Hart says four to five tanks were burning when firefighters arrived. The fire was extinguished in about an hour and the well pad wasn’t damaged.

Hart didn’t know what the tanks contained.


BOY DIES AFTER FALLING INTO GREASE TANK

ALDERSON, WV — A 2-year-old Greenbrier County boy died after falling into a 1,000-gallon tank used as a dumping place for cooking grease.

The boy’s mother was using a car wash along Riverview Avenue at midday Tuesday when the boy wandered off, said Alderson police Chief Jeremy Bennett. The mother said she was having a brief conservation with a man in the next bay, and when she turned around her son was gone.

“She immediately started looking for the child and then called for police assistance,” Bennett said. “While law enforcement was en route, other people were assisting her looking for her child and two citizens actually found the child in the tank.”

Bennett said CPR was performed on the boy from the time he was pulled from the tank to the time he arrived at Greenbrier Valley Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The concrete lid to the tank, which measured 16 x 24 inches, had been removed, Bennett said.

“The sad reality is this tank had no secondary means of locking it. There was nothing saying that anybody couldn’t have opened it, leaving it accessible to the whole world. We think that’s what happened that somebody opened the tank and left it open,” the chief said.

The boy’s candy was found on a two-foot retaining wall surrounding the tank, which sits about 40 feet from the car wash.

Bennett said the tank has been there for about 40 years. At one time it was used for waste water from the car wash but later for what’s left after food preparation. He said Riverside Food Mart is located close by.

Police were continuing the investigation Wednesday.

“I run EMS, fire and police and this is the call you never want to to get,” Bennett said. “You never want to have to deal with a child.”


ONE DEAD AFTER I-79 MOTORCYCLE CRASH IN MARION COUNTY

Gairmont, WV—I-79 North was shut down near mile marker 142 after a motorcycle crash in Marion County.

It happened just before 3 PM Wednesday, according to 911 officials.

A medical examiner was dispatched to the scene, according to 911 officials, along with state police, the Marion County Rescue Squad, and fire departments from Winfield and Pleasant Valley.

Northbound traffic detoured off Exit 139 (Prickett’s Fort).

At the time accident drivers were advised to avoid the area.


HARRISON COUNTY FIRE DESTROYED HOME AND CAR

Good Hope, WV—A Wednesday morning fire destroyed a home and a car in Harrison County.

Crews were called to the scene on Red Fern Road in Good Hope just after 11:00 AM Tuesday morning.

According to fire officials, no one was home at the time of the fire and there were no injuries reported.

There has not been any word on what caused the fire.


PEDESTRIAN HIT AT GAS STATION; DRIVER ARRESTED

Parkersburg, WV - One person was sent to the hospital Tuesday night after Parkersburg Police say she was hit by a car.

It happened around 8:20 PM at the 7-Eleven at the intersection of Avery and 13th Streets.

Police say 57-year-old Harold Carson, Jr. was putting air into his tires before he backed his 2003 Mazda Protege into the woman.

Officials say 29-year-old Tamika Waters was knocked to the ground.

She was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Her injuries are unknown at this time.

Carson was arrested for possession of a controlled substance on the scene.

They say more charges are possible.


ACCIDENT IN BRIDGEPORT SENDS TWO TO HOSPITAL

Bridgeport, WV—About 7:15 PM on Wednesday a two vehicle collision occurred heading west on US Hwy 50 near the Old Bridgeport Hill/Emily Drive exit.

Two people were transported to United Hospital Center for the injuries they sustained from the collision.

Clarksburg Fire Department, Harrison County EMS, and Clarksburg Police responded. Clarksburg Police is investigating.


ACCIDENT IN BRIDGEPORT INVOLVING 5 VEHICLES

Bridgeport, WV—On Wednesday evening heading west on US Hwy 50 near Emily Drive exit emergency personnel began to assist at the scene of a five vehicle collision.

No one was transported as a result of this accident.

Harrison County 911 dispatchers said that there was heavy traffic in the area while the scene was getting cleared.

Both of the westbound lanes were closed, and one lane was closed on the east bound lane.


I-79 VEHICLE COLLISION IN MARION COUNTY SENDS TWO TO RUBY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

Fairmont, WV—After a three vehicle collision with entrapment on I-79 Wednesday one person was flown by HealthNet to Ruby Memorial Hospital.

The accident happened on Wednesday just before 5 PM near mile marker 136 in the northbound lanes.

Authorities said a Toyota Camry, operated by Hershey Bowers Jr., age 72 from Chambersburg, PA and a Dodge Ram operated by John Hill, age 40 from Homer City, PA, and a dump truck operated by Michael Winkleman, age 54 from Morgantown, WV were in the line of cars due to the fatal motorcycle accident.

The driver of the dodge ram failed to maintain control and collided into the Camry, causing it to strike the rear end of the truck.

Marion County 911 officials said an ambulance also took another person to Ruby.

I-79 was shut down in both directions near the scene, but has since reopened to traffic.

West Virginia Accidents   150401

The Gilmer Free Press

FIRE TEARS THROUGH BENWOOD CHURCH

BENWOOD, WV — Fire ripped through St. John Catholic Church in Benwood late Monday night.

When fire crews from throughout Marshall County arrived on the scene at shortly after 10 PM they found the building full of smoke and flames with flames shooting into the sky.

“During this holiest of weeks on the Christian calendar, we are terribly saddened by the news of a devastating fire at St. John Church in Benwood,” said Wheeling-Charleston Diocese Bishop Michael Bransfield. ” I have spoken with our pastor there, Fr Bekeh Utetitang, and although he is very shaken, we know that he made it out of the structure and is unharmed..”

“I join the Benwood community at this hour in prayer, and we thank the brave firefighters and first responders who are working so hard to battle this fire at St. John’s. I ask the residents of the Ohio Valley to pray for the residents of Benwood and the people of St John Parish. Let us pray together that nobody is harmed as a result of this tragic fire,” Bransfield said.

There were no injuries in initial reports from the scene.

West Virginia Accidents     150331

The Gilmer Free Press

ONE MAN DEAD AFTER ONE VEHICLE ACCIDENT IN OHIO COUNTY

WHEELING, WV (MN) – The Ohio County Sheriff’s Department responded to a fatal car accident Sunday afternoon in Wheeling.

Pat Butler, the Ohio County Sherriff, said a 43-year-old man was killed after a one-vehicle crash happened just after 12 PM on Short Creek Road.

The man’s father was taken to a nearby hospital for minor injuries.

Butler said speed may have been a factor in the crash, but it is still under investigation.

The Wheeling Police Department Scene Recreation Team was also on the scene to assist in the accident. The victims’ names have not been released.


MAN FATALLY HIT BY A CAR IN CABELL COUNTY

HUNTINGTON, WV (MN) – A man was killed early Sunday morning after being hit by a car while walking along a road in Cabell County.

Cabell County Sherriff Tom McComas said the man was hit just before 5 AM while walking on Green Valley Road just off of WV Hwy 10 near Huntington.

The victim was already dead when first responders arrived at the scene. After viewing surveillance video in the area, investigators said the man appeared to be walking alone.

The driver stayed on the scene. Dispatchers said no charges will be filed and that the incident remains under investigation. The victim’s name has not been released.


TRACTOR TRAILER OVERTURNS IN BUCKHANNON, SPILLS LOAD OF PAPER RESIDUE

A tractor trailer overturned in Buckhannon Monday afternoon.

At approximately 2 PM, Donald Layfield, age 62, of Clarksburg, lost control of the truck as he approached the A&O railroad crossing on Sago Road off WV Hwy 20.

The truck’s load, which was paper residue, spilled onto the railroad tracks, according to police.

Layfield sustained no injuries in the accident, and a preliminary investigation revealed a blown tire on the truck.

The West Virginia State Police Buckhannon Attachment, railroad personnel, officials from the West Virginia Public Service Commission, the West Virginia Department of Environment Protection and the West Virginia Department of Highways responded to the incident.

West Virginia Accidents   150330

The Gilmer Free Press

FIRE DAMAGES HOME IN MONONGALIA COUNTY

A home is Monongalia County is damaged after a fire early Sunday morning.

Crews were on the scene just before 1:00 AM on Ervins Lane, just off of Scott’s Run Road.

Officials believe that an electrical problem is to blame for the cause of the blaze.

There were no reported injuries and the homeowners were able to get many of their personal items out of the house.

Officials said the house suffered severe damage and is expected to be ruled a total loss.

Granville, Star City, Cassville, and Westover fire departments responded to the scene.


PEDESTRIAN HIT AND KILLED IN CABELL COUNTY

Huntington, WV - On Sunday March 29, 2015 around 5 AM Cabell County Sheriffs and Green Valley Fire Department were called out to respond to an incident occurring by Hite-Saunders Elementary near Green Valley.

Cabell county EMS arrived on scene shortly after.

The unknown pedestrian was hit and killed near the elementary school.

No other information has been released at this time.


ONE KILLED IN FATAL ACCIDENT IN WOOD COUNTY

The Wood County Sheriff’s Office reported one person was killed in a crash early Saturday morning in Williamstown.

Officials say the one car accident happened around 3:52 AM in the 2100 block of North Oak Grove Road.

Officials say the driver, Joseph S. Urbanek Jr., was heading north bound when he received a text message, causing him to go over the embankment and strike a tree.

Urbanek then walked to a nearby home to alert the homeowner and they walked back to the scene of the crash.

That is when the homeowner noticed the car’s passenger, Shawn M. Wilfong, had been ejected and was pinned between the car and tree.

Wilfong was taken to Camden Clark Medical Center where he later died.

Urbanek is charged with DUI with Reckless Disregard Causing Death.

He is being held in the Wood County Holding Facility on a $75,000 bond.

Abandoned Mine Blows Out Creating Damages and Concerns

Glenville, WV - Responders in Gilmer County were called to the scene of an abandoned mine that blew-out about 3:30 AM Thursday morning, March 26, 2015.

Gilmer County first responders showed up at the intersection of WV Highway 5 and Lynch Run Road, an area between Glenville and Sand Fork.

Officials said the mine face gave way causing water, mud, wood, coal and other debris to flood into the roadway shutting down the highway for a period of time and spilling into the Little Kanawha River.


Officials are trying to figure out what caused the mine to blow, but believe it was a result of melted snow and heavy rain flooding the area.

Gilmer Fire Chief Martin Hess said, “The main thing is no body got hurt. We’ve notified water companies and plants from here to Parkersburg about the situation so they can close their intakes and not take any water in.“

The Division of Highways and the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department cleared the road around 7:00 AM.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bureau of Public Health, and Gilmer County PSD have been called to the scene to check for contaminants.

Testing on the water will continue throughout the day.

Glenville Elementary School Evacuates Due to Natural Gas Smell

The Gilmer Free Press

All Students, teachers, and staff were force to evacuate the school building on Tuesday afternoon about 2:40 PM due to strong natural gas smell.

Students were evacuated to school buses and sent home.

When the situation was investigated by the gas company, it was discovered that a natural gas line behind the school was left open on purpose.

Unfortunately the company had failed to notify and warn the school before their action.

All students and staff were safe.

Gilmer County first responders were on the scene.

Capital High Principal Charged with Misdemeanor

The Gilmer Free Press

The principal at Capital High School has been charged with a misdemeanor crime in connection with an alleged sexual assault at the Charleston school last week.

Principal Clinton Giles allegedly failed to immediately report the alleged crime as is required under state law.

Giles has been named in an information.

Police began investigating the alleged assault last week.

They charged a 17-year-old boy with second degree sexual assault.

The victim was a 15-year-old girl.

The alleged crime happened underneath a stairwell at the school.

Giles previously said he was told by a school counselor about the incident at the end of the day on Monday, January 26, 2015.

It was reported the next day.

The information alleges Giles told assistant principals at the school to hold off reporting the allegation until a surveillance video was viewed the next day.

The information also alleges Giles had contact with school resource officer Robert Brown on the day of the alleged assault but failed to tell him about it.

The next day, according to the information, Giles was told by an assistant principal surveillance video had captured a struggle between the two students.

Giles allegedly told the vice principal not to tell Officer Brown but to wait until Giles himself contacted the county board of education office for additional instructions on how to proceed.

The information also alleges Giles knew of another alleged assault the boy was involved in last year at the school.

Prosecutor Miller scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon to discuss “developments” in the case.

How An Idaho Toddler Shot His Mom at Walmart

Veronica Rutledge and her husband loved everything about guns. They practiced at shooting ranges. They hunted. And both of them, relatives and friends say, had permits to carry concealed firearms. Veronica typically left her Blackfoot, Idaho, home with her gun nestled at her side. So on Christmas morning last week, her husband gave her a present he hoped would make her life more comfortable: a purse with a special pocket for a concealed weapon.

The day after Christmas, she took her new gift with her on a trip with her husband and her 2-year-old son. They headed hundreds of miles north to the end of a country road where Terry Rutledge, her husband’s father, lived. The father-in-law learned of the new purse.

“It was designed for that purpose — to carry a concealed firearm,” Rutledge told The Washington Post late Tuesday night. “And you had to unzip a compartment to find the handgun.

On Tuesday morning, that was exactly what Veronica Rutledge’s son did — with the most tragic of outcomes. Veronica, age 29, arrived at a nearby Walmart in Hayden with her three nieces and son, her gun “zippered closed” inside her new purse, her father-in-law said. Then, in the back of the store, near the electronics section, the purse was left unattended for a moment.

“An inquisitive 2-year-old boy reached into the purse, unzipped the compartment, found the gun and shot his mother in the head,” Rutledge said. “It’s a terrible, terrible incident.”

The aftermath has been crushing, he said. His son went to the Walmart to collect his nieces and son, and no one now is sure what to say to the boy, who is not doing well.

“My son is terrible,” Rutledge said. “He has a 2-year-old boy right now who doesn’t know where his mom is and he’ll have to explain why his mom isn’t coming home. And then, later on his life, as he questions it more, he’ll again have to explain what happened, so we’ll have to relive this several times over.”

Rutledge isn’t just sad — he’s angry. Not at his grandson. Nor at his dead daughter-in-law, “who didn’t have a malicious fiber in her body,” he said. He’s angry at the observers already using the accident as an excuse to grandstand on gun rights.

“They are painting Veronica as irresponsible, and that is not the case,” he said. “… I brought my son up around guns, and he has extensive experience shooting it. And Veronica had had hand gun classes; they’re both licensed to carry, and this wasn’t just some purse she had thrown her gun into.”

The Gilmer Free Press

The path Veronica Rutledge charted before her death, friends and family say, was one of academics and small-town, country living. “Hunting, being outdoors and being with her son” was what made her happiest, her friend Rhonda Ellis told The Post. She was raised in northeast Idaho and always excelled at school, former high school classmate Kathleen Phelps said, recalling her as “extremely smart. … valedictorian of our class, very motivated and the smartest person I know. … Getting good grades was always very important to her.”

She went on to graduate in 2010 from the University of Idaho with a chemistry degree, according to a commencement program. From there, she got a job at Battelle’s Idaho National Laboratory and published several articles, one of which analyzed a method to absorb toxic waste discharged by burning nuclear fuel.

While away from the lab, she and her husband, whom she married in 2009, spent time shooting guns. “She was just as comfortable at a camp ground or a gun range as she was in a classroom,” close friend Sheri Sandow said in an interview. On Facebook, she showed an interest in the outdoors and the National Rifle Association, and followed Guns.com, a publication that reports on gun life.

“They carried one every day of their lives, and they shot extensively,” Rutledge said. “They loved it. Odd as it may sound, we are gun people.”

A lot of people in Idaho are. Earlier this year, the state legislature passed a bill that allows people to carry concealed guns onto state university campuses. And more than 85,000 people — 7% of the population — are licensed to carry concealed weapons, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center.

So many locals didn’t discern anything odd with 29-year-old woman carrying a loaded gun into a Walmart during the holiday season. Stu Miller, a spokesman for the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, told the New York Times that it didn’t strike him as anything out of the ordinary. “It’s pretty common around here,” he said. “A lot of people carry loaded guns.”

Sandow told The Post she often sees people with a gun cradled at their side. “In Idaho, we don’t have to worry about a lot of crime and things like that,” she said. “And to see someone with a gun isn’t bizarre. [Veronica] wasn’t carrying a gun because she felt unsafe. She was carrying a gun because she was raised around guns. This was just a horrible accident.”

~~  Terrence McCoy’  ~~

Braxton County Arm Robbery Suspect on the Loose

The Gilmer Free Press

On Saturday, December 20, 2014, there was an armed robbery at BP Station in Flatwoods, WV.

The suspect is described as white man about 6’1, wearing a dark, hooded jacket, blue jeans, boots, a white mask and light-colored gloves.

He Used a gun demanding cash from employees.

Please call Sutton Detachment of West Virginia State Police Detachment at 304.765.2101 if you have any information.

The Gilmer Free Press

 

Three-Car Accident on I-79 Near Exit 99

The Gilmer Free Press

A three-car accident this morning in Lewis County resulted in multiple people being transported to the hospital.

Authorities with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department said an Allied Waste Services truck was driving with it’s hazard lights when a Honda Accord crashed into the back of the truck near the 99 mile marker on I-79 near Weston.

A van then entered onto I-79 and, unable to see the Honda, rear ended the vehicle.

Two were transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital while one was sent to Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital.

The condition of the victims is unknown at this time.

The investigation into the accident is ongoing.

WV State Police Searching for “Person of Interest” in Case of Woman Found Dead in Braxton County

The Gilmer Free Press

The West Virginia State Police is searching for a person of interest in the case of a missing woman found dead in Braxton County.

Jeremy A. Wolfe, age 29, from Spruce Run Road in Glenville, WV is believed to have information regarding the disappearance and death of Crystal Dean, age 36, of Orlando, WV.

Dean was reported missing by her family Monday afternoon and investigators determined she was last seen at Bones Bar, in Burnsville around 1:30 AM Saturday.

At 4:06 PM Monday, a citizen informed troopers of a body found in a stream in a wooded area of the Oil Creek area of Braxton County.

The deceased individual was confirmed to be Dean and her body was sent to the West Virginia State Medical Examiner’s Office to determine a cause of death.

Anyone with information concerning Wolfe is encouraged to contact their local detachment of the State Police.

Sutton: 304.765.2101,  Glenville: 304.462.7101

Death of Calhoun County Woman Who Died Last Week Being Investigated

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia State Police are investigating the death of a Calhoun County woman who died last week after being found unresponsive in her Grantsville home.

That woman was identified as Lennette Pauline Headley, age 59.

State Troopers are awaiting the results of an autopsy on her body to confirm the cause of death, but early indications were she may have been killed.

Headley reportedly shared the home with her boyfriend.

No other details has been available.

Missing Woman Found Dead in Braxton County

The Gilmer Free Press

A woman missing since early Monday morning was found dead in Braxton County.

Crystal Dean, age 36, was located by the West Virginia State Police on Monday night in the Oil Creek area, which is close to her Orlando residence.

Dean was last seen alive at 1:30 AM Monday inside Bones Bar in Burnsville.

WV State police were investigating her cause of death.

Authorities asked anyone with information to call 304.765.2101 or 304.462.7101.

G-otcha™: Regional Jails - Doddrdige County - 09.09.14

Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Charles Melvin Merten
Height: 5   6"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birth Date: 02.08.1984
Gender: Male
Booking Date: 09.09.2014
Facility: North Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)
Doddridge County - Bail: $0.00 SENTENCED MISDEMEANOR
INDECENT EXPOSURE




Status:  Behind Bars
Full Name: Rollin Oliver Berry
Height: 5   7"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Birth Date: 06.06.1985
Gender: Male
Booking Date: 09.08.2014
Facility: North Central Regional Jail
Status: Behind Bars

Offender Information

Court Info Number Issuing Agency Location Charge(s)
Doddridge County - Bail: $5,000.00 DOMESTIC BATTERY 2ND

West Virginia’s Latest News - 08.08.14

The Gilmer Free Press

GUILTY PLEA IN ARCH COAL CASE

A federal judge has accepted the guilty plea of David Runyon, the Delbarton man who prosecutors say had spearheaded a kickback scheme at the Arch Coal mine in West Virginia. Runyon entered his plea Thursday in federal court in Charleston and faces up to 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines for extortion and tax evasion.


TWO KILLED IN GILMER COUNTY WRECK

Two Gilmer County women are dead after a car wreck on WV Highway 5 E in Gilmer County, between Glenville and Sand Fork on Wednesday, August 06, 2014 about 5:00 PM.

West Virginia State Police identified the two victims as Brenda Stump, age 49, of Glenville, and Misty Tomblin, age 34, of Glenville.

State Police Troopers said a witness saw Stump’s SUV cross the center line on WV Highway 5 and slam into Tomblin’s SUV.

Investigators said Stump was not wearing a seatbelt.

According to reports, Tomblin was wearing a seatbelt.

They were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

There were no passengers in either of their vehicles.

Although a toxicology report was requested for both drivers, at this time alcohol or drugs do not appear to have played a part in the fatal crash, WV State Police said.


POWER OUTLET CAUSE OF WV SAUSAGE PLANT FIRE

A state official says an overloaded power outlet caused a fire that destroyed the Ballard’s Farm Sausage plant in Wayne County.

The fire occurred Monday morning at the family-owned plant.

Assistant State Fire Marshal Ryan McFarland says the power outlet was in a second-floor office adjacent to a storage area where corrugated cardboard boxes and foam trays were kept.

McFarland says the fire spread from the building to three connected buildings through a false ceiling.

The fire has been ruled as accidental.

No one was injured.

The Ballard family has operated the plant for the past 68 years.

The company produces bacon, pepperoni, lunch meats and other food products.


DELEGATE DROPPING HER RE-ELECTION BID

A Kanawha County delegate, Suzette Raines, says she is dropping her re-election bid.

The Republican official says she’s pulling out of the November ballot for personal reasons though she says she’s been facing a difficult political challenge by Democrats.

Wood County Victims in New York Plane Crash

The Gilmer Free Press

A Wood County man died Saturday morning in a plane crash in New York that also claimed the lives of his daughter and a friend.

Investigators said Fred Kafka, age 63, of Vienna, WV, was piloting the singe-engine craft that crashed near the Lake Placid Airport after apparently losing power.

Kafka was pronounced dead at the scene along with his daughter, Kathleen Kafka, age 24, and Reed Phillips, age 25, of Potsdam, NY.

They were both students at Clarkson University in Potsdam.

New York State Police Troopers say 63-year-old Fred Kafka, from West Virginia, was piloting his plane, which was a 1967 Mooney single engine four seater.  They say his passengers were his daughter, 24-year-old Kathleen Kafka, and 25-year-old Reed Phillips.  Kathleen and Reed were students at Clarkson University in Potsdam.

Sunday, federal and state investigators finished going over the site of a plane crash just outside Lake Placid.

“We just completed the on-scene phase right now,  And that is we’re documenting the perishable information, i.e. that information that once that aircraft leaves, or the weather changes, that information changes.  So that’s what we’ve been doing,“ said National Transportation Safety Board Senior Air Safety Investigator Paul Cox.

The plane was removed from the crash site around 1:30 Sunday afternoon, taken to a state police facility where investigators will go through individual components of the plane. 

“We’re going to be looking at the engine and the propeller,“ said Cox.  “We’re looking at the condition of everything, we’re also looking at examples of where an aircraft may have hit, how it might have hit, what happens after it hits, so we’re looking at a number of different things.  We’re primarily now collecting factual information, not doing analysis.“

Just before the crash, the airport manager says two planes were approaching the same runway from opposite directions, since the winds were calm.  He says they saw each other in plenty of time and veered off to the right as they were supposed to.  One plane came around for another approach and landed safely.  The other, which was the Mooney, still had the landing gear down and may have had the flaps down.  The airport manager said if that was the case, it would have likely been hard to regain a safe airspeed.

New York State Police say the plane banked very hard and climbed very steeply, leveled off at 200 feet, then spiraled down and crashed about a quarter-mile from end of the runway.
   
Investigators say they still have a lot of evidence to collect and interviews to conduct before they even begin to analyze the findings and figure out what happened.  While it will take a while to get the analysis, the NTSB says in about 10 days they’ll release the basic facts they’ve collected so far.

“Four to six months after that we will put out a factual report which takes that first information and adds to it, and up to a year later will come out a probable cause and an analysis,“ said Cox. 

The Lake Placid Airport manager says, while plane crashes get lots of media attention, other forms of transportation prove to be deadly at times.  He says flying in a properly maintained plane with a good pilot is still a safe mode of transportation.

Police Find Infant Buried in Shallow Grave in Forest

The Gilmer Free Press

West Virginia State Police are investigating the death of an infant whose body was found in buried in the George Washington National Forest in Hardy County.

State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous says troopers went to the site near Wardensville after the infant’s parents were arrested Saturday in Morgantown.

Morgantown police say 32-year-old Joseph A. Christy was driving a vehicle with a stolen license plate.

The vehicle fled when an officer tried to stop it.

Christy and 26-year-old Summer L. McDaniel were arrested following a chase and charged with child neglect because four children were in the vehicle.

Baylous says interviews by investigators in Morgantown revealed that the couple had buried an infant in the national forest.

No charges have been filed in connection with the infant’s death.

Roane County: Oil Drum Explodes

The Gilmer Free Press

An oil drum has exploded near Gandeeville, Roane County, WV.

A Roane County 911 dispatcher said a 24-year-old male was cutting into an empty 155-gallon oil storage drum at a little after 2:00 PM Tuesday, June 10, 2014 when the drum exploded.

The victim was flown by helicopter to Cabell Huntington Hospital.

According to the dispatcher, a 16-year-old male was also burned.

He was transported to Roane County General with non life-threatening injuries.

No other details were immediately available regarding the victims or their condition.

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