CLAY — The bodies of two men have been recovered after police say they jumped into the Elk River and drowned during an arrest Friday afternoon.
“On Friday, December 30, 2022, at approximately 4 pm, Cpl. F.L. Raynor of the WVSP Clay Detachment observed two subjects walking near a bridge along WV Route 4 and believed an active warrant existed for one of the subjects,” according to a press release from the West Virginia State Police. “Cpl. Raynor stopped both subjects and confirmed an active warrant existed on one of the subjects identified as Derek Lee Smith, 29 years old, of Duck, WV. The other subject was identified as Darrius James Nottingham Jr, 61 years old, of Duck, WV.
“Cpl. Raynor handcuffed Mr. Smith and while attempting to place him in the police vehicle, Mr. Smith fled and jumped from the bridge into the Elk River. Cpl. Raynor attempted to rescue Mr. Smith but was unsuccessful. Mr. Nottingham also entered the river and disappeared from sight.
“The subsequent search of the Elk River resulted in locating and recovering the bodies of both Smith and Nottingham on Saturday, December 31, 2022.”