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W.Va. man dies in one-car accident

March 04, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

W.Va. man dies in one-car accident

BUNKER HILL, W.Va. - Robert J. West was an experienced tractor-trailer driver, but he died on a rain-slicked U.S. 11 within five minutes of his home early Tuesday, according to his wife and West Virginia State Police.

The cause of the accident remained under investigation, but West Virginia State Police Sgt. Rob Blair said the road was wet due to Monday night's rain.

The single-vehicle accident occurred shortly after midnight on U.S. 11, about 1.4 miles south of the W.Va. 51 intersection, police said.

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West appeared to have lost control of the 1994 Ford Thunderbird and the car skidded off the western edge of the roadway, Blair said. The car struck a telephone pole at the driver's side door, Blair said.

An ambulance crew was dispatched, but West was pronounced dead at the scene, Blair said.

Investigators were awaiting a report from the county medical examiner's office to help determine the cause of the accident, Blair said.

There were no witnesses to the accident, Blair said.

West's death was the fourth traffic fatality this year in Berkeley County.

West was a tractor-trailer driver for Americast in Halltown, W.Va., said his wife, Katrina West.

He had been a tractor-trailer driver for about 20 years, she said.

"I sent him to gas up the car. I wanted to have the car full of gas," she said.

He was the father of four children and a stepson, ranging in age from 8 to 24, she said.

"They're doing okay. I don't think it's hit them yet," she said of the children.

"He was a good father and a good husband," Katrina West said.

"He liked to build engines from scratch. He liked to race in the mud with his trucks," she said.

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