CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Drinking and driving apparently put two men in the hospital and another in jail in two unrelated accidents on Tuesday.
Lt. Sean Crosier of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department said an accident in Elkview sent two men to the hospital Tuesday afternoon. Later that night, a Putnam County man was arrested after hitting a guardrail on Interstate 64. Crosier said alcohol was a factor in both accidents.
Crosier said deputies got a report a little after 4 p.m. Tuesday about two men who appeared to be extremely intoxicated leaving the parking lot of the Speedway store in Elkview in a green Geo Metro. Deputy M.S. Sims arrived almost immediately, then received a second call about a car in a creek about a mile away.
Witnesses and Sims discovered the Metro on its top in the creek. Crosier said Sims and bystanders pulled the driver, 31-year-old Travis Jason Moore of Walton, and his 66-year-old passenger, Orville Paxton, out of the car.
Crosier said Moore was unconscious, but Paxton was alert. Both were taken to CAMC General Hospital. Crosier said Moore was in the intensive care unit at the hospital on Wednesday. Paxton had been treated and released.
Crosier said they think Moore ran off the right side of the road, overcompensated and ran across the roadway, over an embankment and into the creek. Charges may be filed.
Charges were filed against a Hurricane man who allegedly tried to run from police on Interstate 64 later that night. Deputy R.D. Meadows was responding to a drunken driver call about 9:50 p.m. near Cross Lanes when he saw 60-year-old Clifford Harper weaving left and right on the interstate at about 30 mph. When Meadows turned on his emergency lights, Crosier said Harper allegedly sped up to more than 70 mph before sideswiping a guardrail and stopping about two miles down the road.
When asked to take a field sobriety test, Harper allegedly told Meadows, "I'm too drunk to do this," Crosier said. Meadows was taken to the sheriff's department headquarters, where his blood-alcohol level registered 0.217, Crosier said. Anything over 0.08 is considered legally drunk.
Harper was taken to the South Central Regional Jail, where he remained Wednesday in lieu of a $5,000 cash bond.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.