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Charleston man charged in 2011fatal hit-and-run accident

An anonymous caller is being credited with helping West Virginia police track down a Charleston man they who they say is responsible for causing another man's death in a September 2011 hit-and-run accident. Hit-and-run accidents can be difficult to prosecute, and indeed, the Kanawha County assistant prosecutor says that it took the prosecutor's office some months to track down who the person was who had left the scene of this accident.

The victim, a Putnam County man, was reportedly traveling east along Interstate 64 around 1:15 a.m. Officials say that at the same time, another vehicle hauling a trailer load was ahead of him on an uphill grade near the Cross Lanes exit. Unfortunately, that vehicle apparently had no trailer lights and was going well below the minimum freeway speed.

Authorities say the victim crashed into the rear of the slow-moving vehicle and a chain reaction crash followed. The victim's car was struck from behind and sent into the path of another vehicle. The injured driver succumbed to injuries the following day at Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital.

The alleged hit-and-run driver fled the scene, but officials eventually tracked him down. He was arraigned before a Kanawha Circuit judge early this month after being indicted by a grand jury last month. The assistant prosecutor believes that the ultimate cause of the accident was the suspect's failure to have any form of lighting on the back of the trailer he was hauling at the time of the accident and his slow speed.

While the facts of this accident must still be determined in a West Virginia court, there's no doubt that several lives have been irrevocably changed as a result of it. The victim's loved ones have to deal with painful issues related to his death, as well as the consequent loss of companionship and income.

Source: Charleston Daily Mail, "Charleston man faces charges in 2011 hit-and-run fatal," Ashley B. Craig, June 5, 2012

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