Driver charged in Friday’s fatal W.Va. 7 crash

Charges have been filed against a Morgantown man in relation to a fatal crash on Friday June 7 on W.Va. 7 (Earl L. Core Road) in the Dellslow/Richard area. 

According to court records, a West Virginia State Trooper patrolling the Sabraton area Friday morning saw a green Honda Accord with both the driver, later identified as David Blaine Emerson, 28, of Morgantown, and a female passenger not wearing seatbelts. There was no inspection sticker on the windshield. 

When attempting to catch the vehicle, the officer, Cpl. G.W. Merkich III, stated they saw the Honda travel through a red light at the intersection of W.Va. 7 and the Interstate 68 offramp. Emerson then allegedly began to travel at a high rate of speed heading eastbound toward Preston County. 

Once Merkich turned on the cruiser’s lights and sirens, Emerson allegedly began crossing the double yellow line while continuing at a high rate of speed. 

At the same time, a Jan-Care ambulance was traveling westbound in the opposite direction. According to Merkich’s narrative of events, Emerson attempted to get off the roadway, but could not and hit the ambulance head on. 

After hitting the ambulance, Emerson’s Honda crashed into the parking lot of Homegrown Pizza and Creekside Pre-Owned Motors, striking a pickup truck that was then pushed into another truck. 

Immediately following the crash, Merkich reported seeing the driver exit the vehicle and flee on foot. The corporal briefly pursued Emerson before electing to return to the scene of the accident. He was able to provide a description of Emerson for dispatchers and a manhunt ensued. 

Back on the crash scene, Merkich found a female lying lifeless on the ground. He was able to determine the female had been the passenger in the Honda. 

Law enforcement searching for Emerson received information that he had fled to a residence on Pixler Hill Road, where he was subsequently located and taken into custody. After being read his Miranda Rights, Emerson provided police with the name of the deceased woman, which has not been released by police.

Emerson is charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death. He is currently being held at North Central Regional Jail on a $250,000 bond.