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Sleeping woman killed by DUI driver, police in Roane County say

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- An intoxicated man crashed his truck through a building in Roane County early Thursday, killing a woman and severely injuring a man as they were sleeping inside, police said.

Chaz Allen Simmons, 23, of Spencer, was charged with driving under the influence causing death and DUI causing bodily injury, according to a criminal complaint filed in Roane County Magistrate Court.

Simmons crashed his Chevrolet Colorado pickup into a building at 7113 Clay Road in Looneyville at 2:30 a.m. The building was connected to a house where Kelly Casto and William Cottrell were sleeping, according to the complaint.

Paramedics pronounced Casto dead at the scene. Cottrell was taken to Roane General Hospital, where he remained in critical condition Thursday afternoon.

Paramedics also took Simmons to the hospital, with minor injuries, according to the complaint.

Roane County Sheriff's Sgt. Matthew Williams responded to the crash and spoke with William Cottrell's brother, Larry, who lives inside the adjacent house. Larry Cottrell said he came outside after hearing the crash and saw Simmons' truck sticking out of the building, according to the complaint.

Simmons allegedly told Larry Cottrell that he had been drinking and lost control of his truck. Simmons got out of the truck and helped Larry Cottrell use a jack to lift the truck off William Cottrell and Casto, who were pinned underneath, according to the complaint.

Simmons allegedly got back in the truck and tried to drive away, but Larry Cottrell stopped him.

At the hospital, Simmons told police he had been at a party in Calhoun County, where he drank seven or eight beers, according to the complaint. He was then driving to his job in Clarksburg along W.Va. 36 when he lost control and crashed into the building, according to the complaint.

Simmons was being held Thursday in Central Regional Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash-only bail.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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