Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 25, 2013

Man charged in DUI death

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — A Mercer County man was taken into custody Sunday afternoon on charges of DUI with death and operating a motor vehicle without an approved vehicle alcohol test and lock system stemming from a Jan 1, wreck on Bluefield Avenue that claimed the life of a Bluefield area auto mechanic.

Kester Everett Lane III, 28, of Bramwell, was arrested by the Bluefield Police Department on charges of DUI with death and operating a vehicle that was not equipped with an alcohol test and lock system. Lane was traveling west on Bluefield Avenue in a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu at about 7:12 a.m., on Jan. 1, when he collided with Michael D. Manns, 50, of Bluefield, who was operating a 1977 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

Patrolman M.L. Ramsey said that Lane suffered minor injuries in the wreck, but Manns died as a result of the injuries he received in the crash. “The collision involved a driver-side to driver-side front-end impact,” Ramsey said. “Mr. Lane had a previous arrest for DUI, and was participating in the interlock program, but the vehicle he was operating was not equipped with the system. The vehicle he was driving was in his parent’s name.”

Ramsey said that Lane’s blood test revealed that he had a .20 blood/alcohol level. “That’s two and one-half times above the legal limit of .08,” Ramsey said. He said that it can sometimes take months to receive the results of all the tests necessary to make a DUI with death arrest. He said that if Lane is convicted on the charges, he will face two to 10 years in prison.

“I expected it might take six to eight weeks, but Chief D.M. Dillow told me they might not be in until June,” Ramsey said. “These kinds of investigations take time.”

Ramsey said that Lane was working for the city of Bluefield Street Department at the time of the wreck, but was placed on administrative leave without pay since that time.

Lane was scheduled to appear before Mercer County Magistrate Rick Fowler Sunday night.

— Contact Bill Archer at