Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

September 2, 2013

Rapid response

First responders help driver wrecked in remote location

CRUMPLER — Good fortune was smiling on a Wyoming County motorist Sunday morning who rolled his vehicle over a 50-foot embankment on the access road to the locally popular ATV gathering spot known as the Stair Steps.

Because Wyoming County sheriff’s deputies and southern West Virginia emergency responders are familiar with the remote location north of Crumpler, they know that wrecks in that area can lead to serious injuries. However, on Sunday morning, Sgt. S.E. Cook of the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department was expecting the worst when he arrived on scene.

“I was shocked at how not serious the young man was injured,” Cook said Sunday afternoon. “He was on the road that leads to the Stair Steps and rolled his motor vehicle over a 50-foot embankment. He received a bump on the head and wasn’t bleeding, and his vehicle wasn’t badly damaged. It was not what I expected to see.”

Even websites that provide information about the so-called “Outlaw ATV Trails” caution riders about the inherent dangers in the area with some going as far as to tell riders to bring cameras along with them to take photos of the medical helicopters airlifting injured riders from the area. On Sunday morning, the Matoaka Volunteer Fire Department answered the call to assist the driver.

“I was in the middle of teaching the guys a class when we received the call (Sunday) morning,” John Sommers, assistant chief of the Matoaka Volunteer Fire Department said. “We had 10 members on station, and we were able to respond as soon as we received the call.”

The call initially came in to Wyoming County 911, who contacted Mercer County 911 shortly after 10 a.m. and asked them if they had anyone available to respond, Sommers said.

“We received the call at 10:04 a.m. and were able to get up there pretty quickly,” Sommers said. “It was a little tight in places, but we got there. The Princeton Rescue Squad got there and transported the victim to Princeton Community Hospital. We have a mutual aid agreement with the Mullens Volunteer Fire Department.”

“They got up there fast,” Cook said. “He was a very fortunate young man.”

Cook said that the driver was from Wyoming County and is in his late 20s, but did not release his name. Sommers said that his injuries were not life threatening.

— Contact Bill Archer at

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