Fatal Route 20 accident


First responders attempt to extract a driver from the wreckage of his vehicle on Route 20 in Lerona Friday afternoon. The driver, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was hauling concrete and blocks. The accident closed a half-mile section of Route 20 while crews cleared the debris.

LERONA — A driver was killed Friday after the truck he was driving rolled while he was hauling cinder blocks and concrete to a building site in Summers County.

The crash occurred approximately 1 p.m. on Route 20 in the Lerona area. According to witnesses, the northbound truck ran off the road and into a ditch, then crossed the road as it flipped over and rolled, Trooper First Class J.M. Ellison of the West Virginia State Police detachment near Princeton said.

 The cab was crushed in the process, and Ellison later confirmed at the scene that there had been a fatality. The driver’s name was not available pending the notification of his next of kin.

Broken cylinder blocks and broken bags of concrete littered the road, and trees were broken as the truck rolled toward a house. Troopers marked gouges made in the road while the vehicle rolled so an accident reconstruction could be done.

Corinna Allen, 39, of Athens said she was following the truck with her husband and son when they saw it crash. They had hired the driver to haul cylinder blocks and bags of concrete to the site of a home they are building in Summers County. “He had swerved a couple of times, but nothing major,” Allen recalled. “He went into the ditch, and then he corrected himself and got back on the road, and the truck turned over. It started sliding sideways and it started to roll. My son and husband ran down to check on him, but he was already gone.” Ellison said the crash’s cause had not been determined. A shifting load that caused the truck to overturn was one possibility.

The Athens Volunteer Fire Department, the Princeton Rescue Squad, the Pipestem Volunteer Fire Department, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department and the state Department of Highways had personnel at the scene. Traffic was rerouted to Old Lerona Road until the debris had been cleared.

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