Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

March 26, 2014

Examiners uncover additional information in case of man struck by bus

PRINCETON — Medical examiners have determined that a Virginia man whose body was found last February near Brushfork was lying on the ground when a school bus struck him, an officer with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday.

The body of Patrick Eric Neal, 31, of Bluefield, Va., was found the morning of Feb. 20 on Stoney Ridge Road. A Mercer County school bus driver traveling that road at 6:15 a.m. that day reported that he ran over an object in the road.

No children were aboard the bus at that time, Senior Deputy A.M. Ballard of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department said during a press conference soon after the discovery.

The driver said he thought the object was trash, and the area is known as a place where people dump trash, Ballard said. Neal was wearing a dark hat and clothing when he was hit.

Neal had been at a friend’s home that is further up Stoney Ridge near the Bluefield city line and left the residence at 2 a.m. to walk home. Ballard said Neal had not been shot or stabbed.

It was not known whether Neal was alive when the bus ran over him, Ballard said. The body was sent to the state Medical Examiner’s Office for testing.

Investigators with the sheriff’s department have received additional information from the medical examiner, Chief Deputy D.B. Bailey said Tuesday.

“The only thing they have been able to determine is that he was already down at the time he was struck by the bus,” Bailey said. “Toxicology is still pending from the forensic lab.”

The West Virginia State Police Forensic Laboratory is performing the toxicology testing, Bailey said. No date has been given for its completion.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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