Deputies from the Tyler County Sheriff's Office are investigating a crash that claimed the life of a 17-year-old Paden City resident.
On July 10 at approximately 2:54 p.m., the Tyler County 911 Center received a report of a single car accident with a "roll over" along state Route 18 just before Hickman Road, near Pursley.
Tyler County Sheriff's Deputies J.K. Maston and M.A. Corley were dispatched to the scene, along with Sistersville EMS and members of the Sistersville Volunteer Fire Department.
Paden City High?School Senior and athlete Matt Barker succumbed Saturday to injuries from a July 10 car accident on state Route 18.
According to the deputies, Kyle Staton, age 18, of Paden City was traveling south on state Route 18 when his 2001 Mazda Millennia went off the right side of the road, back across the roadway, and into a ditch, causing it to flip. Both the driver and his 17-year-old passenger, Matthew Barker, were injured in the crash.
Staton was transported to Sistersville General Hospital by Sistersville EMS for treatment of minor injuries. AirEvac was called to the scene to transport Barker, via helicopter, to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va. On Saturday, he succumbed to injuries.
The accident remains under investigation.
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Barker, who would've been a senior at Paden City High School this fall, was the son of Bradley and Angela Barker of Paden City.
According to his obituary, on page 2A, he loved weight lifting and on July 7, seven days before his untimely death, Barker set five world records in the U.S.P.F. weight lifting competition. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and loved sports - especially football and baseball.
In addition to his parents, Barker is survived by a brother, Adam (Erica) Barker of Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and two sisters, Meagan and Kayla Barker of Paden City.
Visitation will be held today at Jarvis-Williams Funeral Home from 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Funeral services are slated for 11 a.m. Thursday at the First Baptist Church in Paden City, with Pastor Jonathan Mast officiating.
In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be made to the Zachary Taylor Trust. Help the family to pay it forward by making donations, in Matt's name, to the Zachary Taylor Trust, 1224 S Bridge St., New Martinsville, WV 26155.
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The Zachary Taylor Trust Fund was created in 2011 when 17-year-old Zachary Taylor of New Martinsville was preparing for his own funeral. Having battled cancer his whole life, in November 2011 the young man was only given one-to-two weeks to live. He wanted to make his last days as joyous and carefree as possible. In his mind that included making the needed funeral arrangements.
The only problem with planning the funeral was knowing it would be a financial burden on his family. Moved by the young man's amazing attitude and concern for his family, Weldon Williams of Jarvis-Williams Funeral Homes opened the Zachary Taylor Trust Account at WesBanco.
"I thought, if everyone would just go to WesBanco and donate even one dollar, then it would all be paid for," said Williams. Well, Taylor's story and life inspired thousands and the fund quickly grew large enough to cover his funeral expenses. The excess, decided Zachary, should be paid forward to help other families pay for the funeral expenses of their young loved ones. That is exactly what the fund does for families of those 18 or younger who live in Wetzel County-all in the name of the inspiring young man who didn't want to burden his family.
Taylor did succumb to the cancer that haunted him his entire life. However, he outlasted the doctors' prediction of one-to-two weeks-enjoying the last five months while inspiring many.