Multiple fatalities reported in car accident into river
UPDATED 5/1/22 @ 11:20 p.m.
BRAXTON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Three people are dead after a car crashed into a river.
One of the dead is a volunteer firefighter, who was trying to rescue a mother and child who were in the crash.
New information has been released by the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office who is also investigating.
Chief Deputy Robbie Bailey with the WV Fire Marshal said responders first got a call of a vehicle in the Elk River with possible people inside.
The Sutton Volunteer Fire Dept. and the Gassaway Volunteer Fire Dept. responded to the scene near the parking lot of the Braxton County Senior Center. They responded along with the Braxton County Sheriff’s Office and WVSP.
Responders found what is believed to be a mom and child who had wrecked a midsize SUV from the parking lot into the river Sunday afternoon according to Bailey.
“That vehicle was in this parking lot here at the Braxton County Senior Citizens Center and did traverse through the parking lot and then end up in the Elk River,” said Bailey.
When firefighters went to perform rescue operations, Bailey said a firefighter with the Gassaway Dept. went into the river to help with the rescue and died.
“County sheriff’s office and State Police responded as well and during that response we had a male volunteer firefighter who while in the water experienced some complications and ended up going under,” Bailey said.
Bailey was able to release more information about the woman and child that died.
“Those individuals who were in that vehicle from our preliminary investigation shows that they were not local,” Bailey said. “There are a lot of emotions attached to this, not just with the families of all those individuals involved but for these emergency responders as well because the emergency responders in Braxton County and the state of West Virginia are very close.”
The State Fire Marshal will also release information pertaining to their investigation.
“The state fire marshal’s role here is because of the death of the volunteer firefighter who is a member of a West Virginia volunteer fire department,” said Bailey. “Any death is tragic so knowing we have one death, now two deaths, now three.”
More information about the investigation will be released by the Braxton County Sheriff’s Office who is handling the accident.
This is a developing story, keep checking WSAZ.
A single-vehicle car accident into the Elk River has resulted in several fatalities near the Herold Bridge.
According to the Braxton County Emergency Management Director, the crash happened around 2:30 p.m. Sunday just south of Sutton, along I-79 near exit 62 across from the senior center. Two people in the car died, one adult and one child. Both occupants drowned in the accident.
One volunteer firefighter attempting a rescue operation also drowned.
According to a release, a deputy and state trooper were able to pull one of the victims from the water. They were also able to rescue another individual who was attempting to locate victims but had begun to go under. That individual is expected to be okay.
No names or additional information is being released at this time.
Crews wrapped up the rescue operation around 4:55p.m. The Braxton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash. They were assisted by West Virginia State Police, Braxton County EMS and several volunteer fire departments.
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