Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

March 27, 2014

Experts still researching cause of Route 52 crash that claimed lives of 2 children

BRUSHFORK — Investigators are waiting for experts to determine data obtained from a vehicle’s recorder before determining the cause of a March 5 crash that took the lives of two children on U.S. Route 52.

A crash reconstruction team from the West Virginia State Police visited the crash scene on March 7 in front of Deliverance Temple along with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department to survey the site.

Roadside memorials to the girls, one 19 months old and the other 4 years old, were already appearing.

The crash involved the vehicle carrying the two children, a 2000 Chevrolet Corsica that was driven by Terri A. Wright, (also known as Tara Blankenship) 28, of Glen Lyn, Va., a 2009 Toyota Rav Four that was driven by Jackson Carter, 40, of Princeton, that was traveling north on U.S. Route 52, and a 1994 Ford Ranger driven by Harold Brown, age unavailable, of Bramwell, that was traveling southbound on U.S. Route 52, Sheriff Don Meadows said during the survey of the scene.

Part of the crash reconstruction includes examining the information downloaded from the “black box” in the Toyota Rav Four, Meadows said Wednesday. The report generated from the black box download was longer than expected.

“The download on the black box on the Toyota is 26-pages long,” he stated.

The state police investigator who is reconstructing the crash is currently teaching classes at the West Virginia State Police Academy, and an expert will decipher the 26-page report.

“This guy is renowned for reconstruction and knows more about the black box than anyone,” Meadows said of the expert. “On this Toyota, it’s a big volume of information.”

Information from the black box on the Corsica carrying the two children is also being examined, Lt. J.E. “Joe” Parks of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department said when the survey was conducted.

Meadows said he hopes to hear the reconstruction report next week.

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