A teenager is killed following an early morning car crash in Oak - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

A teenager is killed following an early morning car crash in Oak Hill

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A 15 year old passenger is killed during a fatal crash in Oak Hill that happened minutes after police decided to end chase. A 15 year old passenger is killed during a fatal crash in Oak Hill that happened minutes after police decided to end chase.

NEWS RELEASE:

OAK HILL-A teenager is dead following a motor vehicle accident in Oak Hill earlier this morning. Sheriff Steve Kessler released the following information concerning this incident:

At approximately 4:00 am on Saturday, January 31, 2015 an officer from the Oak Hill Police Department was in the area of the Save-A-Lot grocery store in Oak Hill when he attempted to stop a vehicle for a minor traffic violation. When the officer activated his emergency lights the vehicle accelerated to a high rate of speed estimated to be in excess of 80 mph and fled across the Lochgelly overpass over U.S. Route 19 towards Lochgelly. By the time the officer was able to turn his vehicle, pull onto WV Route 16 and accelerate, this vehicle was already out of his sight. Due to the icy road conditions the officer turned off his lights and did not attempt to catch this fleeing vehicle.

A few minutes later a call was received through the Fayette County 911 Center, reportedly from the driver of this vehicle, reporting that the driver had been "running from the cops," and that this vehicle had been involved in an accident on WV Route 16 and a passenger in this vehicle had been critically injured. Officers from the Oak Hill Police Department and the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, as well as personnel from the Oak Hill Fire Department and EMS personnel responded to the scene. The driver, a 17 year-old juvenile from the Fayetteville area, was transported to Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill where he was reported in stable condition. The Oak Hill Fire Department had to extricate the passenger from the vehicle. The passenger, a 15 year-old juvenile from the Pax area, was transported to Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

It has not been determined at this point if drugs or alcohol were factors in this accident. No charges have been filed against the driver of the vehicle at this time. "Since the driver is a juvenile, any criminal charges must be filed by way of a juvenile petition filed by the Office of the Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney," Sheriff Kessler explained. "We will be working with the Prosecutor's Office to determine the most appropriate charges to be filed in connection with this incident."

"It is important to note that the Oak Hill Police Department was not actively engaged in a pursuit of this vehicle at the time of this accident," said Sheriff Kessler. "The Oak Hill officer activated his lights, the vehicle quickly accelerated and fled, and quickly disappeared from the officer's sight. Due to the hazardous road conditions, the officer elected not to initiate a pursuit of this vehicle for a minor traffic violation and immediately turned off his emergency lights. Unfortunately the very poor decision made by the teenage driver to 'run from the cops' has resulted in the tragic death of another young teenager."

This incident remains under investigation by Deputies A. B. Hudson and M.J. Jarvis of the Fayette County Sheriff's Office. They were assisted at the scene by the Oak Hill Police Department and by an off-duty member of the West Virginia State Police who stopped at the scene and offered to assist.

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