I-77 accident

Members of the West Virginia State Police investigate an accident on I-77 near Flattop, Thursday. The accident left one Mercer County man dead, and two other Mercer County men in critical condition.

CAMP CREEK — Two employees of the West Virginia Parkways Authority remained in critical condition Friday after a crash Thursday afternoon on Interstate 77 which claimed the life of another employee.

Nathan Thompson, 32, of the Kegley area was pronounced deceased at the scene Thursday after a crash at the 23 mile marker of I-77 near Camp Creek. Ethan Kestner, 19, of the Princeton area was listed in critical/stable condition, according to Sgt. C.F. Kane of the West Virginia State Police. Richard Lambert, 21, of the Kegley area of Mercer County was also listed in critical/stable condition.

All three men are employees of the West Virginia Parkways Authority (WVPA), Kane said. The operator of the tractor-trailer in the crash was James Crandall, 52, of Reesville, Ohio.

The crash occurred about 3:42 p.m. Thursday when the southbound tractor-trailer collided with two WVPA vehicles that were parked along the roadway, investigators said. The three WVPA employees were standing near these vehicles. Crandall was not injured. The cause of the crash was still under investigation Friday.

Gov. Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice issued a statement soon after Thompson, Kestner and Lambert were identified.

“We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken after learning about this tragic accident,” the governor and First Lady said. “Please join us in praying for the family, friends, and co-workers of these three men. It is an extremely sad day for West Virginia.”

First responders including the Bluestone Valley Volunteer Fire Department, the Ghent Volunteer Fire Department, Beaver Volunteer Fire Department, the Princeton Rescue Squad, Jan-Care Ambulance, and West Virginia Transportation Division officers were also dispatched Thursday to the scene.

Trending Video

Recommended for you