Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 7, 2014

State Police accident reconstruction team begins investigation into tragic U.S. Route 52 crash

BLUEFIELD — On Friday afternoon, a West Virginia State Police crash reconstruction team visited the site of a three-vehicle wreck that left two young girls dead and a female driver recovering from multiple injuries, “and a broken heart,” Lt. J.E. “Joe” Parks, of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department said.

“These are some of the best crash reconstruction experts around,” Mercer County Sheriff D.B. “Don” Meadows said. “They took the bulb out of Ms. (Terri) Wright’s tail light and they could show us that it was working at the time of impact. She had her turn signal on.”

Meadows defended the methodical and cautious approach that law enforcement is taking to the investigation. “These were young children who were killed in this wreck,” he said. “One 19-month-old, and one 4-year-old. It has taken a toll on all of us.” He said that the investigation has been emotional for all of the deputies that worked the scene.

  Apress release issued Friday morning by Parks reported that the condition of the adult female driver of the 2000 Chevrolet Corsica involved in the deaths of two pre-school female passengers is now listed as “guarded.”

Terri A. Wright, also known as Tara Blankenship, of Glen Lyn, Va., was transported by the Bluefield Rescue Squad to Bluefield Regional Medical Center following the three-vehicle crash shortly before 7 p.m., on Wednesday. She was then taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital where she is in the intensive care unit.

Parks said that sheriff’s deputies have a theory as to what happened in the wreck, but won’t release any details until after the West Virginia State Police accident reconstructionist reports on the crash. Parks also asked the community to “keep these families in their prayers.”

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