Truck Accidents Often Fatal on the Region’s Roadways

by Duane Nichols on October 8, 2017

Brine Water Tanker Truck crashes & rolls off US Route 50 on Oct. 3, 2017

“It was so loud,” eyewitness describes crash that killed four (4)

From an Article by Jeff Jenkins, MetroNews (WV), January 12, 2017

SALEM, W.Va. — A driver who heard the collision between two trucks on U.S. Route 50 in Harrison County Wednesday evening knew it was bad.

“It was so loud, even though the windows were up and I wasn’t there yet, you could still hear it,” Jason Barr told MetroNews. “It was big.”

Barr was traveling west after work at about 6 p.m. when the head-on crash between the pickup truck and flatbed commercial truck occurred. He quickly got out of his vehicle and tried to help the victims.

“The driver of the pick-up was the only one that had any type of responsiveness to him. He would just let out low-level moans with every time he breathed out. He couldn’t speak to us,” Barr said.

Harrison County Sheriff’s Department deputies said the driver was in critical condition at Ruby Memorial Hospital but the four others in the extended cab pickup, a man, woman, boy and girl, were killed.

Barr tried to help the two women in the back of the cab. He jumped up in the bed of the truck and reached through the broken out back window.

“There was no really obvious trauma signs really. I was doing the best I could to check for their pulse on their neck. I never did feel anything and this was just like seconds, ya know, after the crash,” Barr said.

The crash occurred near the Raccoon Run exit when the pickup, heading west, went through the median and into the path of the flatbed. Deputies suggested Thursday the state Division of Highways should consider a cable barrier for that stretch of highway.

“That is a right hand curve,” Barr said. “The pickup truck is headed west and if they would have hydroplaned a little bit it wouldn’t have took much to slide out of that curve and cross the median.”

The driver of the flatbed had been released from the hospital by Thursday afternoon.


US Route 50 rerouted in Ritchie County after water truck accident

From an Article by Alex Wiederspiel, WV MetroNews, April 13, 2017

BOND’S CREEK, W.Va. — An accident late Wednesday night in Ritchie County will shut down a portion of US Route 50 west and east bound in Ritchie County for at least the rest of the day Thursday.

The Doddridge/Ritchie County 911 Center confirmed a water truck hit a guard rail on a bridge near Bond’s Creek on US Route 50 west bound. According to the Department of Highways, west and east bound lanes are closed. Traffic is being rerouted to WV Route 16.

The driver suffered undisclosed injuries. Dispatchers at the Doddridge/Ritchie 911 Center could not confirm what hospital treated the driver.


Dump truck accident leaves one dead in Jefferson County

From an Article by Hans Fogle, WV MetroNews, September 29, 2017

MIDDLEWAY, W.Va. — An accident involving a dump truck and a passenger vehicle left one person dead in Jefferson County.

Authorities at the scene say the accident took place around 10 a.m. Thursday when the truck traveling west on Middleway Pike blew its front driver side tire, causing the driver to lose control. The dump truck was carrying a full load of gravel when it merged into the eastbound lane and rolled onto a 2017 Chevrolet Cruze.

Jack Dudley lives off Middleway Pike and told WEPM News he was checking his mailbox when he witnessed the accident. “I saw the truck tire blow and the car was passing me at the time when the truck tire blew,” Dudley said. “I saw the truck just swerve all over the road and land right on top of the car.”

Emergency crews respond to the scene of a fatal accident involving a dump truck. Sgt. Ronald Fletcher with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department told WEPM News there will be many factors in determining a cause of the accident.

“They’ll be looking at the tread on the vehicle, the load size, checking books and all of that,” Fletcher said.

There were two people in the Chevrolet when the crash occurred. The passenger was reportedly breathing and was airlifted to Innova Fairfax Hosiptal. Extraction took 40 minutes.

The driver of the Cruze was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the dump truck did receiver medical attention and was taken to a hospital with minor cuts and bruises. Five different fire departments responded to the accident as well as authorities from 3 different states.


One person dead after brine water truck crash in Doddridge County

From an Article by Brittany Murray, WV MetroNews, October 3, 2017

SALEM, W.Va. — A brine water truck driver is dead following an accident on U.S. 50 in Doddridge County Tuesday.

The crash occurred on U.S. 50 eastbound between Tarklin Road and the West Salem exit. Dispatchers received the call about 11:40 a.m. The driver was traveling westbound near Tarklin Road when he crossed the median into the eastbound lanes. The truck appeared to have blown a tire.

Doddridge County Sheriff’s Department is continuing to investigate. Smithburg and Salem fire departments, Doddridge County Ambulance Authority and the Doddridge County OES director also responded.

NOTE: The name of the Pennsylvania man who died in this accident has not been released at this time. See the photo above.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Funeral Home October 8, 2017 at 1:13 pm


Shawn Allen Nicola, 25, of Point Marion, PA, died Tuesday, October 3, 2017, near Clarksburg, WV, the result of a truck accident. He was born in Morgantown. Services will be held in the Richard R. Herod Funeral Home, Point Marion, at 11 am, Monday, October 9th.


Herald Reports October 9, 2017 at 12:11 pm

U.S. Route 340 in Eastern Panhandle reopened after crash

Article by Matthew Unstead, Hagerstown Herald – Mail, June 30, 2017

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said Friday evening that U.S. 340 near the Virginia line was reopened for motorists shortly after 6 p.m., nearly 10 hours after a traffic crash involving a pickup truck and a fuel truck about 8 a.m.

Police said one driver was transported to a Virginia hospital and others we’re treated for injuries as a result of the crash Friday morning. The trucks caught fire but the fire was somewhat contained without burning 8,500 gallons of fuel in the tanker truck, police said.

The sheriff’s office said efforts were ongoing to clear the scene and remove and reload the fuel as of about 2:30 p.m., and that it is likely that the highway would remain closed until U.S. 340 will be closed until later this evening. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes or expect continued delays.

Jefferson County Sheriff Pete Dougherty said he is optimistic that the crash scene can be cleared by 6 p.m., but could not provide definitive assurance that would occur.



I-79 Truck Accident October 10, 2017 at 12:13 pm

Weston man killed in Pennsylvania truck crash

From an Article by Darlene Swiger, Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram, May 2, 2017

WAYNESBURG, PA — A 48-year-old Weston man was killed in a tractor-trailer wreck Monday on Interstate 79 in Pennsylvania.

Michael J. Snyder was driving a 2007 International Harvester northbound three miles past the West Virginia state line at about 12:14 p.m. when he lost control of the tractor-trailer, according to a report by the Pennsylvania State Police detachment in Waynesburg.

Snyder was negotiating a right-hand curve when the tractor-trailer traveled off the western side of the roadway and into the median, police said. Once in the median, the tractor-trailer spilled its load and rolled over, according to police.

The trailer became dislodged from the tractor and landed on top of the cab during the rollover, police said. The tractor-trailer came to rest in the median.

Snyder was pronounced dead at the scene, Pennsylvania State Police said.



WV Route 18 October 25, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Man Dies After Tanker Truck Collision in Tyler County

From the Wheeling Intelligencer, October 25, 2017

A tanker truck driver has died after a Monday afternoon collision with a tractor-trailer near Alma, the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office reported Tuesday.

Michael A. Pack of Woodsfield died early Tuesday of injuries sustained in the accident, the sheriff’s office said in a press release. Investigation into the crash continues, but deputies believe weather was a factor.

The sheriff’s office was dispatched to the accident scene on W.Va. Route 18, south of Indian Creek Road, at about 2:25 p.m. Monday. The tanker truck driven by Pack was in a ditch along the northbound side of the road, with Pack trapped inside, while the tractor-trailer was in the southbound lane, the sheriff’s office reported.

Emergency crews worked to free Pack from the vehicle and transported him to Wetzel County Hospital in New Martinsville. The tractor-trailer driver, Samuel D. Christopher Jr. of Vincent, Ohio, was not injured, according to the sheriff’s office.

Investigators believe the tractor-trailer lost control and traveled across the northbound lane, striking the front end of the tanker truck.

W.Va. Route 18 was closed for about five hours Monday as emergency crews cleared the scene.

In addition to the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office, agencies responding to the accident included the Alma, Middlebourne, Shirley, Sistersville and Paden City volunteer fire departments and Middlebourne Emergency Medical Service.



WTOV News 9 October 28, 2017 at 10:42 pm

Two killed in accident along Ohio 7 in Belmont County

From an Article by Kate Davison, WTOV News 9, October 26, 2017

BELMONT County, Ohio — Two people were killed in an accident involving a tanker truck and a Buick Sedan along Ohio 7 South at Dilles Bottom on Thursday afternoon. After the accident, skid marks seen through the intersection led to a truck resting in a ditch, facing the opposite direction it was traveling. Just beyond that was the mangled passenger vehicle.

Lt. James Faunda with the Ohio State Highway Patrol says the collision took place just south of the Moundsville Bridge at 11:46 a.m. “Troopers arrived within a minute of the crash occurring, and found that two vehicles had collided,” Faunda said. Faunda says the truck was traveling southbound on 7, and the Buick was headed northbound.

“Traffic was slowed northbound due to the removal of some electrical wires, and the passenger vehicle that was northbound was in the far right lane,” Faunda said. “That vehicle cut across two lanes of traffic to make a turn, left, and crossed into the path of the southbound truck.”

The two passengers in the car were killed on impact. The truck driver was transported to a local hospital for observation.

Officials believe the passenger car was at fault. “The preliminary investigation is indicating that the northbound vehicle failed to yield to the southbound vehicle, and that was the cause of the crash,” he said.

Authorities are not releasing names of victims, as they are still working to notify next of kin.



WBOY News 12 November 18, 2017 at 5:37 pm

Traffic slows after vehicle accident on US Route 50 near Wolf Summit

By Lacey Palmer, WBOY News 12, November 17, 2017

A vehicle accident occurred on US Route 50 in Harrison County Friday afternoon.

A tractor trailer and truck collided at the intersection of US Route 50 and Sycamore Road near Wolf Summit at approximately 1:15 p.m., according to the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department.

A red truck heading west attempted to make a right turn onto Wolf Summit Road and was T-boned by a tractor trailer, according to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources officer on scene.

The driver of the truck was transported to United Hospital Center by Harrison County EMS, and the driver of the tractor trailer was not injured, deputies said.

As of 1:45 p.m., traffic on US Route 50 heading eastbound was being rerouted onto the side of the road, and traffic heading westbound was reduced to one lane due to emergency vehicles responding.

The Reynoldsville Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the scene.



WTRF - 7 News November 20, 2017 at 12:55 pm

Two Flown to Morgantown to the Hospital Following Crash

From WTRF, News 7, November 16, 2017

MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. – The extent of the injuries was unknown after a car and sand truck crashed in Marshall County.

According to Marshall County EMA Director, Tom Hart, the accident happened on Roberts Ridge Thursday afternoon.

Two people were flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital.



WTOV News 9 November 27, 2017 at 5:30 pm

One man injured in SR 7 accident

From WTOV News 9, Steubenville, OH, October 18, 2017

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio — A series of accidents resulted in a busy evening for police and fire departments in Jefferson County.

The first accident happened on Ohio 7 northbound 213 interchange. Officials said a motorcycle came out in front of oncoming traffic when it was struck in the rear by a utility truck.

The driver of that truck then lost control and skidded over the median before coming to a full stop against the roadside concrete barrier.

He did not strike any other vehicles on his way down the road and walked away unharmed. One man who was nearby recalls what he saw:

“I was just standing over there when that motorcycle was hit by the truck and that truck just skidded over there,” said witness Ryan Reidy.

“The driver of the motorcycle has serious injuries,” said Jeff Bernard. “He wasn’t wearing a helmet and he did have some head injuries.”

The one male occupant on the motorcycle was considered critically injured and flown to a Pittsburgh area hospital for treatment.

The accident is cleaned up and traffic flow is back to normal.

Around the same time, a semi-truck overturned in Knoxville on Route 152 heading toward Empire. The driver of the truck was uninjured. He said the trailer’s load shifted, twisting his rig as he turned onto a side road.


WNEP News 16 December 6, 2017 at 2:25 am

Guilty Plea Entered in Deadly Crash Case

By Jim Hamill, WNEP Newswatch 16, September 12, 2017

MONTROSE, PA — A man on trial for causing a deadly crash that killed a U.S. Marine has entered a guilty plea.

Right before the jury would have heard opening statements, Arlan Taft, 60, from Tioga, pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless endangerment in exchange for prosecutors dropping the most serious charges including homicide by vehicle.

Taft left the courthouse in Montrose with his family after admitting his role in the deadly crash in January 2015 in Springville Township. He was driving a water truck for a company in the natural gas industry.

Taft was unable to stop that day near Springville and plowed into Staff Sgt. Andrew Stevens’ vehicle, causing a fire and killing the 27-year-old U.S. Marine.

The Stevens family, including his widow, was in court and tells Newswatch 16 they’re pleased with the outcome of the case.

“It gives us a little more peace and we’re grateful he did take responsibility and we can put this behind us,” said Amanda Novitch, the victim’s sister.

“It’s not that we were hoping for anything harsh, we just wanted him to take responsibility for his actions and we’re grateful he did that.”

“It’s tragic. It shouldn’t have happened,” said defense attorney Ernie Preate. “He missed his shift coming down the hill and his brakes failed. That’s the problem.”

Defense attorneys planned to argue at trial that Taft’s truck that day needed maintenance it didn’t receive, including the brakes.

“They gave him a death trap to drive that day and he didn’t know it,” Preate said.

Even though the family is suing the company, Canyon Environmental, for millions, they still hold Taft, the driver that day, responsible.

“He was in control of that vehicle, regardless of who he thought he had to place the blame on, he was responsible of that vehicle,” Novitch said.

Taft is scheduled to be sentenced in late October. His attorney believes he’ll get probation.

The family of Staff Sgt. Stevens is suing Taft’s employer at the time, Canyon Environmental, in civil court.



SkyTruth December 12, 2017 at 9:12 am


Date: 2017-12-05

NRC Report ID: 1198906

Incident Time: 2017-12-05 03:00:00

Nearest City: Eighty Four, PA

Incident Type: MOBILE

Material: OIL: DIESEL

Medium Affected: WATER

Suspected Responsible Party: WG SATTERLEE & SONS INC.

SkyTruth Analysis

Lat/Long: 40.177634, -80.132383 (Approximate)

Reported Spill Volume: 100 gallon

Report Description





WDTV News 5 December 16, 2017 at 9:43 am

UPDATE: Area clear after Water Truck accident

From WDTV, CLARKSBURG, WV, Nov 29, 2017

HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV) — Officials are on the scene of an accident involving a water truck on Saltwell Road in Harrison County.

The truck took out a guardrail, rolling over. The driver was able to make it out of the truck on his own, and was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Harrison County Sheriff’s deputies are directing traffic, but traffic is not backed up at this time.

The cause of the accident is unclear at this time.

Stay with 5 News for updates.



US Route 250 January 1, 2018 at 2:49 am

Tractor trailer accident causes delays on Route 250

From WDTV, News 5, December 29, 2017

TAYLOR COUNTY, W.Va. — US Route 250, near Turkey Run Road in Taylor County, is currently closed due to a tractor trailer accident.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident and there were no injuries.

The tractor trailer was carrying sand and a small amount of oil was spilled on the road.

Crews are working to clean up scene. Drivers should avoid the area if possible.


NOTE: US Route 250 is one of the crookedest national highways ever. Between Richmond and Charlottesville it was originally designated by three chops on the trees and became known as Three Chopt Road. Many of the original sections are still included.


WTRF 7News January 9, 2018 at 9:01 pm

WV Route 2 re-opened after tanker truck crash at Beech Bottom

By Tate Blanchard, WTRF News 7, January 9, 2018

Brooke County, W.Va. (WTRF) – UPDATE: Brooke County Sheriff’s Office confirms Route 2 is re-opened Tuesday morning after a tanker truck crash Monday night.

UPDATE: According to Capt. Pizer at Brooke County Sheriff Office, the tanker truck lost control and dropped off of the side of the road, hitting the guardrail and wall. The truck was carrying brine water, which is not dangerous.(?)

The water tank came off the truck and exploded when it hit the road, spilling the brine water.

The truck is blocking the northbound lane of WV Route 2, and part of the southbound lane. The cleanup will take more than an hour. The Route 2 will remain closed.

The DOH is on the scene to help with cleanup. The truck driver was not injured.

ORIGINAL: WV Route 2 is shut down in both directions near Beech Bottom just over the Brooke County line due to an accident. 

Right now,  dispatch isn’t releasing many details regarding the accident, but traffic is being diverted around the scene.

WTRF News 7 has a crew on the way and we’ll bring you an update as soon as new information is available. 


Alan Olson January 25, 2018 at 8:18 pm

Driver Dead After Cameron Tanker Truck Crash

From an Article by Alan Olson, Wheeling Intelligencer, January 25, 2018

Emergency crews respond after a water tanker crashed into a Cameron Ridge Road home late Tuesday.

CAMERON — Marshall County Sheriff’s deputies confirm that the driver of a tanker truck which slammed in a residence Tuesday night has died, though it was not believed to be from injuries sustained in the crash.

Around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday evening, deputies received a 911 call about a water truck veering off the edge of Cameron Ridge Road — and crashing into a home. After reporting to the scene, deputies found the driver, Kevin Ziemke, of Salisbury, Pa., dead at the scene.

The home sustained minor structural damage, though the homeowner escaped injury.

Marshall County Chief Deputy Bill Helms said that an autopsy would be performed, as is standard procedure for situations like this. However, as of Wednesday, officials believe Ziemke died before his vehicle left the road.

“We don’t have any reason to believe he was drunk or anything like that, but we believe he may have suffered some kind of ailment that we believe caused the crash,” Helms said. “They checked the crash. The reason we believe he expired before that is because there were no skid marks and no corrective actions taken by the driver.”

The truck likely hauled water used for Marcellus and Utica shale natural gas fracking operations, as vehicles of this type are now common throughout the region.



Lee Burton September 14, 2020 at 5:16 pm

Two Water Truck Workers Die in Crash

From the Wheeling Intelligencer, Jan 28, 2019

MIDDLEBOURNE — Two Jay Bee Oil and Gas Inc. workers died Sunday when their work truck crashed over an embankment on the south side of Jug in Tyler Country.

The Tyler County Sheriff’s officials said the accident occurred at about 9:01 p.m. Sunday. Tyler County E-911 Center received the call that a dump truck was over the embankment in the Jug turn on West Virginia 18, just south of Middlebourne.

Those arriving on the scene of the accident discovered that a water bottle truck had traveled through the guard rail and over the embankment on W.Va. 18. The vehicle was said to be a water truck owned by Jay Bee Oil and Gas Inc. in Cairo, West Virginia.

The driver was identified as Curtis E. Etheredge Jr. of Harrisville, and the passenger was Eric V. Hardman of Parkersburg. Fire crews had to extricate the victims from the vehicle. Etheredge was pronounced dead at the scene, and Hardman was rushed to Sistersville General Hospital by Middlebourne EMS. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Deputies from the sheriff’s office and first responders with the Middlebourne, Sistersville, Alma and Shirley volunteer fire departments and Middlebourne EMS responded to the scene. Tyler County Office of Emergency Management, West Virginia Division of Highways and the West Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office assisted the sheriff’s office.

A towing company located in Cairo worked in conjunction with Jackson’s Towing of New Martinsville to remove the vehicle. The crash shut down W.Va. 18 for about four hours. The road was officially reopened early today.

The Tyler County Sheriff’s Office is leading the accident investigation.


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