Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 10, 2014

Search has unhappy ending

WELCH — The search for an elderly McDowell County woman who did not return home on Friday after a visit to a Kimball-area store came to a sad conclusion on Sunday morning when one of the searchers discovered her vehicle over a 30-foot embankment off the side of the Welch Bypass, Alternate U.S. Route 52.

Police who responded to the discovery of the vehicle identified the body in the vehicle as that of Haseltine Daniel, 85, of Iaeger, “the sole occupant of said vehicle,” according to a press release from Senior Trooper B.D. Gillespie of the Welch Detachment of the West Virginia State Police.

“She went to the beauty parlor on Friday, and stopped at the Walmart before coming back home,” Ray Bailey of Iaeger said. Bailey was one in the group of 20-30 volunteers who participated, along with law enforcement and family members, in the search for Daniel. “Two of the searchers saw some paint on a guardrail on the Iaeger side of the bypass,” Bailey said. “The vehicle dropped 30 or 40 feet off the road.”

According to Bailey, Daniel was expected home at 3:30 p.m. Friday evening. She was driving a maroon in color, 2003 Ford Focus. According to Gillespie, the vehicle traveled off the roadway and down a rocky embankment before landing on its roof.

The search had continued through Saturday and into Sunday. Gillespie stated that he received the call about the vehicle at 10:36 a.m. Sunday morning. Gillespie, Cpl. R.A. Daniel and Trooper J.C. Mann responded to the call.

“It should be stated that due to the steep terrain, the above stated vehicle and crash scene could not be seen by motorists who were traveling on (the bypass),” Gillespie stated in his press release.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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