GALLIPOLIS — The Ohio Highway State Patrol is investigating a head-on collision between two vehicles that occurred Tuesday morning on State Route 7 near Skyline Lanes, resulting in three individuals being evacuated by emergency medical choppers.
According to OSHP Gallipolis Post 27’s Sgt. Jason Roe, troopers received the call to investigate the collision at 5:35 a.m. Richard White, 38, of Bidwell, was allegedly driving a 1992 blue Dodge Dakota. The second vehicle was reportedly driven by Jeanette Springer, 56, of Gallipolis. She was in a white 2007 Toyota 4Runner SUV.
“Unit One was (allegedly) going southbound on (State Route) 7. That would be Mr. White,” Roe said. “Unit Two was northbound on (State Route) 7. That would be Ms. Springer. Unit One traveled left of center, striking Unit Two. (Unit Two) tried to drive off the right side of the roadway to avoid the collision, but the vehicles still struck.”
Springer and White were both flown to St Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, W.Va., with incapacitating injuries. White’s passenger, Kami Griffith, 35, of Letart, W.Va., was also flown to the same facility with incapacitating injuries. Springer allegedly was trapped in her SUV and had to be cut from the vehicle, according to Gallia County 911 Dispatch records.
“We sent a trooper from the Ironton post over to St. Mary’s (Medical Center, Huntington, W.Va.) to try to get a witness statement from (White) and to obtain a blood sample. We felt like he might be under the influence of (an illicit substance),” Roe said.
White allegedly refused all drug test requests. Troopers have since acquired a warrant and have sent a trooper from the Gallipolis post to retrieve a blood sample from White. Pills of an unknown kind were allegedly discovered on White’s person and the Huntington Police Department was sent to investigate.
Both vehicles suffered heavy damage. Troopers said speeds at which both vehicles were traveling could not be confirmed as of press time.
Roe said no one has been cited as of yet, but charges may be pending as the crash is still under investigation.
In a separate collision incident, Floyd Moore-Shepherd, 22, and Kelly Bonice, 27, both of Gallipolis, suffered an unusual collision with the same deer around 5:45 p.m. Nov. 13 on Jackson Pike.
Bonice was driving a 2013 Kia Optima and Moore-Shepherd was driving a 1983 Ford Bronco.
“Unit One (Bonice’s vehicle) was eastbound on County Road 35 (Jackson Pike) when it (allegedly) struck a deer in the roadway,” Roe said. “(Unit) One hit the deer and knocked it into the westbound lanes, obviously it was airborne. Unit Two (Moore-Shepherd’s vehicle) struck it. The way the deer hit, half the body hit the windshield and the other half was hanging off the A-pillar (the front left window support of the vehicle) and that was what caused the deer to split in half.”
Roe said the front of the deer crashed through the Bronco’s windshield and knocked Moore-Shepherd unconscious. Roe said troopers discovered the front half of the deer in the back of the vehicle but did not find the other half of the animal.
The driver was medically evacuated to Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington. The passenger in the Bronco was unharmed.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.