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Police say driver in fatal W.Va. crash tested positive for drugs

July 21, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

GERRARDSTOWN, W.Va. -- Police say a Berkeley County woman tested positive for drugs after the car she was driving Friday collided with a motorcycle head-on, causing the death of 51-year-old David E. Kessel.

Jessica Nicole Faircloth, 21, was arraigned Wednesday morning by Magistrate JoAnn Overington on one felony count of driving under the influence with death.

Faircloth was in Eastern Regional Jail on $100,000 bond Wednesday, according to jail and court records.

Kessel of Spring Mills, W.Va., was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which happened about 3:15 p.m. on W.Va. 45 (Apple Harvest Drive), just west of the intersection with W.Va. 51/Buck Hill Road, police said.

After the accident, Faircloth tested positive for having benzodiazepine, cannabinoid and opiates after consenting to being tested, according to a complaint filed in magistrate court by Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Lt. W.A. Johnson.

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While being treated at Winchester (Va.) Medical Center, Faircloth told Johnson she doesn't drink and agreed to sign a medical waiver to prove as much, according to court records.

At the hospital, Faircloth told police that she was distracted by a dropped cigarette prior to the collision and didn't remember anything else, according to court records.

Two witnesses told police that the 1992 Honda Accord that Faircloth was driving crossed the center line and struck the Triumph motorcycle head-on in the lane that Kessel was riding.

Kessel, a farm loan manager with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency's office in Martinsburg, was on his way to a dairy farm to count cattle that were going to be milked, his wife said last week.

Deputies found Kessel and the motorcycle along a drop-off on the other side of a guardrail, police had said.

The collision ejected Kessel from the motorcycle into the car and then over the roof of the vehicle and down a steep bank along the road, police said.

Funeral services for Kessel were to be held Wednesday at Brown Funeral Home South Berkeley Chapel in Inwood, W.Va., according to his obituary.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Davis College Scholarship Fund, c/o Cameron Hackney, Dean, 1170 Agricultural Sciences Building, P.O. Box 6108, Morgantown WV 26506-6108.

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