Mercer County

Arrest made in deadly tractor-trailer accident on the West Virginia Turnpike

CAMP CREEK, WV (WVNS) - UPDATE:  An arrest has been made in a deadly accident that happened in the Camp Creek area on Aug. 16, 2018.  State Troopers arrested James Richard Crandall on Friday, Oct. 5.

Crandall was the driver of a tractor-trailer that wrecked on I-77 and killed two members of the West Virginia Parkways Authority.  Nathan Thompson and Richard Lambert died in the accident.  A third worker for the Parkways Authority, Ethan Kestner, survived.

Crandall is charged with two counts of Negligent Homicide, Failure to Maintain Control, Reckless Driving, Unsafe Vehicle on the Highway and Following Too Closely.  He was arraigned and released on at $50,000 bond.  

The investigation into the crash is still open.

UPDATE:  On Friday, August 17, 2018, Richard Lambert passed away at Roanoke Memorial Hospital from his injuries. Ethan Kestner is still believed to be in critical but stable condition.

The investigation is still underway.

UPDATE:  The investigation into a fatal crash that happened along I-77 in Mercer County is still under way. On Friday afternoon, investigators released the names and conditions of the victims.

Nathan Thompson, 32, of Kegley, WV was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.  Ethan Kestner, 18, of Princeton, WV and Richard Lambert,21, of Kegley, WV are in critical but stable condition. All three of these men are employees of the West Virginia Parkways Authority.

The cause of the accident is still being investigated by West Virginia State Troopers. 

UPDATE: According to West Virginia State Police, a West Virginia Parkway Authority employee is dead and two others are in critical condition after a tractor-trailer accident.

According to police, the tractor-trailer was traveling south when it collided with two WVPA vehicles that were parked on the side of the road, along with three WVPA employees that were standing near the vehicles. The accident happened near mile marker 23.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured.

The cause of the crash is being investigated by West Virginia State Police.

Names of the victims are not being released at this time.

UPDATE: According to, one lane of the interstate has been reopened. Drivers should continue to use caution when traveling in the area.

There were two helicopters called in. They landed at the Ghent Volunteer Fire Department. Right now there is still no official word on how many people were injured or any information on the conditions or identities of the victims.

ORIGINAL STORY: Drivers on I-77 should use caution as troopers investigate a tractor-trailer accident. It happened before 4 p.m. at around Mile Marker 23 in Camp Creek.

Witnesses said there were at least three people injured in the accident.  

Details are limited on what caused the accident. It happened in the southbound lanes of the interstate, both lanes are closed. West Virginia 511 is cautioning people to be prepared to stop.

Drivers should find an alternate route until the accident is cleared.  59News has a crew on the scene.  Watch for more details here and on the air as they became available.

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