SOUTHSIDE, W.Va. — An accident involving two vehicles and injuring three people, one critically, shut down U.S. 35 for a time late Monday afternoon.
According to Deputy Cole Johnson of the Mason County Sheriff’s Department, he was dispatched to the scene at 5:25 p.m., arriving along the stretch of U.S. 35 near State Route 817 in Southside.
Johnson said a Saturn SUV driven by Brice Lifer, 32, of Knox, Ohio, was traveling south on U.S. 35, while a Chevrolet Suburban SUV driven by Joao Andrade, 65, of Union, N.J. was traveling north on U.S. 35. At the time of the accident, heavy rains were falling with Johnson estimating visibility being around 20 feet. Lifer appears to have hydroplaned and drifted into the northbound lane of traffic, where he struck Andrade’s vehicle, according to the sheriff’s department.
The two men, as well as a passenger in Andrade’s vehicle, were transported to Pleasant Valley Hospital by emergency personnel from Mason County EMS as well as Gallia County EMS. Johnson said Andrade and his passenger were later released from PVH, but Lifer was taken on to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington for treatment of injuries. On Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson for St. Mary’s Medical Center said Lifer was listed in critical condition.
Johnson said there will be no citation issued in the crash that appears to have been a weather-related accident.
In addition to Mason County and Gallia County EMS, arriving on the scene to assist with patient care, traffic and securing the scene, were firefighters from the Point Pleasant Fire Department.
For a time, traffic was closed on U.S. 35 in both directions, with northbound traffic eventually being detoured through Route 817, while those in the southbound lane had to wait for the accident scene to be cleared to resume travel.
Reach Beth Sergent at email@example.com or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.