PRINCETON — A driver whose accident resulted in the double amputation of the legs of a Department of Transportation worker has been arrested, officials said Saturday.
Mark Musselman, of Bristol, Tenn., is charged with three misdemeanor offenses including reckless driving, improper approach of an emergency vehicle causing injury (the “move-over law”), and failure to obey traffic control lights, Senior Trooper K.A. Filer, of the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment, said.
The injured worker is Justin Dawson, 24, of Hinton, Sgt. D.W. Miller, commander of the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment, said in a previous report.
Dawson was injured as a result of an accident off Interstate 77 on the West Virginia side of East River Mountain Tunnel near mile marker 1. The incident happened at approximately 7 a.m. last Tuesday.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) operates the tunnel.
"The VDOT workers were on the shoulder assisting a stranded motorist, and a driver (Musselman) that was traveling northbound came out of the tunnel,” Filer said. “Musselman drove onto the shoulder and crashed into one of the workers and a VDOT truck.”
Dawson was transported to a local hospital and flown to a medical facility in Charleston. It was reported Wednesday that both of his legs had to be amputated as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.
It was unclear Saturday as to why Musselman was driving on the shoulder of the road.
“He (Musselman) was completely across the rumble strips,” Filer said. “The skid marks indicate that as soon as he came out of the tunnel he was on the shoulder. It was significantly before the exit starts … It’s pretty cut and dry. He was on the shoulder.”
Musselman’s charges are all misdemeanor offenses, carrying a penalty of less than one year in jail.
“No one set out to kill or injure someone,” Filer said. “But you have to take responsibility. People just don’t pay attention while they’re driving.”
Musselman was arraigned Friday afternoon before Mercer County Magistrate Susan Honaker and given a $5,000 cash only bond.
Immediately afterward, he had a bond-reduction hearing before Mercer County Magistrate William Holroyd. At the second hearing Musselman’s bond was changed from cash only to $5,000 personal recognizance.
Musselman was released on his own recognizance following the hearing.
— Contact Samantha Perry at email@example.com.