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Prosecutor’s Office Releases Names In Fatal Accident

By Staff | Oct 26, 2017

An Oct. 24 statement from the Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney’s office has confirmed the name of the individual that died as a result of an Oct. 11 accident.

The office confirmed the deceased as Shelby Titus, Chief Tax Deputy of Wetzel County.

The other driver involved in the accident was William Darris Cunningham.

The accident is being investigated by the West Virginia State Police and the Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney. However, according to the Oct. 24 statement, Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught has requested the appointment of a Special Prosecuting attorney to review the case, due to a conflict of interest.

The statement quoted Haught as saying he worked closely with Titus on various tax matters. He said he and his employees are deeply grieved at the passing of a member of the courthouse family.

Haught said Titus was a pleasure to work with, and will be missed.

Haught said he has also known Cunningham for more than 25 years.

“Given my association with both, I feel it best to appoint a Special Prosecutor to review the State Police Investigation.”

On Oct. 12, Sergeant K.G. Murray of the WVSP had said charges are pending in the accident, which occurred at the Rolling Acres area of State Route 7, near New Martinsville.

Murray said the accident involved a box truck, headed west on Route 7, and a black Kia Sportage, headed east on Route 7. Murray said the truck crossed the center line and struck the Kia in the driver side area. Both vehicles exited the road and went into a yard on the south edge of the roadway. The truck rolled over, striking a tree in the front yard.

Murray said both drivers were trapped in their respective vehicles. After being extricated from their vehicles, both drivers were transported to Wetzel County 4-H grounds, where they were then flown by helicopter to Ruby Memorial Hospital.

The wreck occurred approximately at 4:40 p.m., Oct. 11. The Route 7 roadway was closed for approximately two hours.

“We don’t believe speed was a factor, based on witness statements,” Murray said. “We believe both vehicles were traveling at the posted speed limit, or below.”

Murray said even though it rained that day, weather did not appear to be a factor in the accident.