DUCK, WV (WVNS) – Two bodies were recovered from the Elk River after a confrontation with State Police. The incident involved both subjects fleeing, one of whom jumped from a bridge into the river.
On Friday, December 30, 2022, at approximately 4pm, Corporal (Cpl.) F.L. Raynor of the WVSP Clay Detachment, saw two men walking near Villanova Ridge Road Bridge, along WV Route 4. He believed that one of the men had an active warrant for arrest.
Cpl. Raynor stopped them and confirmed that one of the men, Derek Lee Smith of Duck, WV had an active warrant. The other subject was identified as Darrius James Nottingham Jr. The men were 29 and 61 years old, respectively.
While Corporal Raynor was attempting to handcuff Mr. Smith and get him into the police vehicle, Smith ran and jumped from the bridge into the Elk River.
Cpl. Raynor attempted to rescue Mr. Smith but was unsuccessful. Mr. Nottingham also entered the river and disappeared from sight during the confrontation.
After the two men disappeared into the Elk River, a search for them began with rescue crews from various local fire departments assisting. The following search of the Elk River resulted in locating and recovering the bodies of both Smith and Nottingham on Saturday, December 31, 2022.