The Upshur County Sheriff’s Department has released the name of the woman killed in Sunday’s wreck at the intersection of Route 33 and Kesling Mill Road. They have also identified the three people who were life-flighted from the scene.
Kendra Neal, of Thurman Avenue in Buckhannon, was killed in the crash, according to a press release from the department.
The release says Ryan and Kendra Neal were attempting to cross Route 33 to the Old Elkins Road when their 1984 Toyota truck pulled out in front of Darell and Loise Hyre, of Adrian School House Road in Buckhannon. The Hyres were traveling east on Route 33 in a 2005 Chevy Tahoe.
Both Ryan and Kendra Neal were ejected from their vehicle, according to the press release.
The collision occurred at 12:07 p.m. Sunday. Neal was pronounced dead at the scene, while three helicopters landed in succession to transport the other patients. Several Good Samaritans stopped to render aid, the release notes.
According to Angela Knopf, media relations manager at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, Ryan Neal is in fair condition, while both Darell and Loise Hyre are in good condition.
Cpl. Theron Caynor of the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, assisted by Trooper P.J. Robinette with the W.Va. State Police.
The most recent fatal wreck comes about two months after two people were killed 1.5 miles to the west on Route 33, at the intersection with Childers Run Road. Buckhannon City Council subsequently voted to request that the W.Va. Department of Highways study the traffic patterns at the deadly intersections.
“I’ve long been of the opinion that as development continues along Corridor H … [safety] needs to constantly be reassessed,” police chief Matt Gregory said of the Childers Run and Kesling Mill intersections during an April city council meeting.
At the scene of Sunday’s wreck, several bystanders who live on Kesling Mill Road said they won’t cross at the Route 33 intersection, instead opting to turn right and then either circle back around or later cross to the Old Elkins Road.
Tom Bevans lives about a mile and half out Kesling Mill Road.
“I won’t cross here,” he said Sunday. “I make a right-hand turn and then I’ll go down the interstate before I cut across. When I come back, I do the same thing. I won’t cross both lanes here.”
Bevans has lived out Kesling Mill Road for 37 years, and he’s seen many wrecks at the intersection during that time. He feels something needs to be done to improve safety, and to him that means one thing: “We need a stoplight.”
“I would like to see them do something, yes I would,” he said. “If you’re driving 65 miles an hour up the road, and someone pulls out in front of you, you don’t have a chance.”
Numerous Upshur County EMS units, Buckhannon and Ellamore firefighters and Buckhannon city police officers responded to assist at the scene Sunday. Route 33 eastbound was shut down for an extended period of time, with cars being rerouted on the Old Elkins Road.