Friday accident kills Virginia man
A head-on collision on Rt. 39 east of Huntersville killed a Warm Springs, Virginia, man who had come to town with his friend to visit a local feed store and go grocery shopping.
Harold Ferguson, 78, was dead at the scene, according to Lieutenant Brad Totten, of the Pocahontas County Sheriffﾒs Department. Totten said Ferguson was a passenger in a 1988 Oldsmobile driven by 80-year-old Michael G. OFarrell, also of Warm Springs.
The Virginia men were headed east on Rt. 39, Totten said, when a 1990s model Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Richard Lee Hefner, II, of Covington, Virginia, went left of center and struck the Oldsmobile head-on. Hefnerﾒs Jeep spun in the road and wound up partially over the embankment of Knapps Creek, Totten said. The Oldsmobile was propelled backward into the westbound lane, he said.
According to the accident report, road conditions were dry and the weather was clear at the time of the accident, which occurred around 4 p.m.
OFarrell and Hefner were both injured in the afternoon crash, but did not sustain immediately life-threatening injuries, Totten said. Both were admitted to Pocahontas Memorial Hospital and had been released by Tuesday, he continued. All the men were wearing seatbelts, he said.
The lieutenant said he had no indication that alcohol was a factor in the accident; however, he said, toxicology screens for other controlled substances were not yet available Tuesday. Also, Totten said, he could not yet determine if speed was a factor in the wreck.
Totten said OFarrell told him that he and Ferguson had traveled to Marlinton to make purchases at Southern States and then had gone to Pocahontas Foodland.
No charges had been filed Tuesday, as the accident remains under investigation, but Totten said the charges could be as serious as either negligent or involuntary manslaughter.
Totten said the West Virginia State Police will provide a team to reconstruct the accident later this week.
This traffic accident was the first involving a fatality this year in Pocahontas County.