At approximately 4:45 a.m. on Sunday, June 11, 2017, Trooper S.A. Sutherland was called to a fatal crash that happened in Russell County. An SUV traveling north on Route 19 near Green Hill Road swerved to avoid an animal in the road, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Troopers said the vehicle ran off the right side of the road, overcorrected then overturned, striking a parked tractor trailer.
Cynthia R. Panashy, 26, of Bluefield, WV, who was a passenger in the vehicle, suffered serious injuries. She died while being flown to the hospital. The driver, Austin M. Stone-Caldwell, 22, of Princeton, WV, was flown to Bristol Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.
The second passenger in the vehicle, Coridy J. Whaley, 23, of Columbus, GA, was taken to Clinch Valley Medical Center. Investigators said none of the individuals in the SUV were wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Charges are expected to be filed in the case. The crash is still under investigation.