Teen guitarist killed by truck 'was well-loved'

January 04, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION |

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — A 17-year-old Berkeley Springs boy who was killed when he was struck by a tractor-trailer on U.S. 522 Wednesday night loved helping people and was a member of a band that performed Christian music, his father said Thursday.

James Kyle Arkenau was killed when he ran across U.S. 522 about a half mile south of Cacapon Resort State Park about 6:25 p.m., Morgan County Sheriff Vince Shambaugh said.

Arkenau, who was wearing dark clothing, ran from the east side of the road and into the path of a Mack truck that was being driven north by Terry L. Foster of Marietta, Ohio, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office said.

Foster told deputies that he braked to avoid Arkenau, but was unable to stop.

Arkenau, who was a student at Shenandoah Christian Academy in Stephens City, Va., was struck by the left-front bumper of the truck and thrown to the west side of the roadway, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

When asked what his son was doing when the accident occurred, Leonard Arkenau said his son liked to take walks in that area.

Arkenau played guitar and was in the band Forever is Forever for about two years, his father said.

Although Forever is Forever played Christian-based music, group members also performed positive alternative music, Arkenau said.

“He was well-loved, I know that,” said Arkenau, noting that there had been an outpouring of support for his son on Facebook.

 Berkeley Springs High School Principal Lance Fox said Thursday that counselors were available at the school to help students cope with Arkenau's death in case they knew him.
“Our counselors are here and ready," Fox said. "We don't know what kind of contact our kids had with him.”

 The truck was owned by R&J Truck and Body Inc. of Youngstown, Ohio.

 Staff Writer Dan Dearth contributed to this story.

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