On Jan. 9 at approximately 9:50 a.m. a drilling rig owned by Sun Energy Drilling went into the ditch from the northwest-bound lane of state Route 20 on the northwest side of Reader. Sheriff John Brookover said the driver of the truck said an oncoming truck crowded his side of the road-leaving him the choice of hitting the truck or the ditch. He chose the latter.
The drilling company reportedly had to bring a wrecker out of Morgantown to handle the incident. By the time it got to the scene, it was already afternoon and nearing time for school to release.
The incident caused some major transportation problems. Wetzel County School Transportation Director Brian Jones said several buses, ones from Valley, Shortline, and special needs from New Martinsville, had to be re-routed. "It caused a lot of trouble," said Jones. Of extra concern were the special needs students, said Jones, "When their schedules are disrupted, sometimes that's not a little thing."
"Courtesy is they could have and should have waited until our buses got the kids out (to block both lanes for the recovery)," said Jones, who added that it also stopped some parents from getting to schools to pick up students. "The truck traffic, the industry, needs to be more considerate of our most precious commodity, our children. There's nothing more important than the safety of the students in Wetzel County."
Jones also cited three more truck wrecks-at Galmish, Fallen Timber, and American Ridge-since that incident that affected bus routes. However, he said, "Those were minor things." (Photo by Amy Witschey)