A 69-year-old Birch River man was seriously injured when he lost control of the pickup truck, he was driving on Route 19 and crashed. According to investigating officers, Johnny D. Taylor was the lone occupant of a 2008 red Ford Ranger that was attempting to pass a tractor-trailer truck while traveling north on Route 19 near the 69-mile marker just south of the I-79/Route 19 intersection.
The accident occurred on Saturday, July 23 just prior to 2:00 p.m. When first responders arrived, they found the truck against the guardrail of the south bound land fully engulfed in flames.
An eyewitness told Deputies A.C. Jordan and B. Williams of the Braxton County Sheriff’s Department that he witnessed the accident in his vehicle’s rearview mirror. He told the officers that Taylor was attempting to pass the big rig when he lost control and veered into the median. He tried to return to the north bound lane but apparently over corrected causing the truck to re-ented the median, overturning several times, ejecting Taylor from the wreckage in the process, before bursting into flames and coming to rest in the south bound lane.
Sutton Fire/Rescue, assisted by the Flatwoods Fire Department and Braxton EMS, rendered aid to the victim before an air ambulance from HealthNet landed on the highway and transported the seriously injured man to a trauma facility for advance treatment. No additional information regarding his condition has been released.
The investigation is continuing.