PARKERSBURG - Investigators on Friday identified the three people killed in a crash on Interstate 77 on Monday.
Killed were Maliyah Jones, 11, a fifth-grader at Orchard Middle School in Solon, Ohio; her mother Malaka Jones, 38, also of Solon, and Sherita Hogans, 29, of Cleveland, Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy said. The Joneses were identified by the Solon City School District earlier this week while the identity of the third victim was released Friday.
The accident happened on Interstate 77 about 8:15 p.m. Monday in the southbound lane of the interstate bridge between Williamstown and Marietta. A truck driver, who was uninjured, hauling liquid nitrogen came upon a stationary 1999 Saab and colliding with the vehicle. Fuel caught fire, burning both vehicles and causing flames visible from miles away.
No charges have been filed. The driver of the truck, Gary E. Fox, 62, who goes by Eugene, of Mount Morris, Pa., a small town north of Morgantown, told investigators he had checked for traffic when he came upon the stationary vehicle, which was on the bridge with its lights off.
Sheriff's Sgt. Brett Pickens, a member of the county crash investigation team, Friday said witnesses who saw the accident are still needed. He can be reached at 304-424-1834.
"Still looking for witnesses," he said.
The West Virginia Medical Examiner positively identified the three people killed Monday in a auto accident on Interstate 77 as:
Malaka Jones, 38, Solon, Ohio, driver.
Sherita Hogans, 29, Cleveland, front seat passenger.
Maliyah Jones, 11, Solon, daughter of Malaka, a passenger in the back seat.
Source: Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy
The bodies were taken to the West Virginia Medical Examiner for autopsies and the identification of the three was confirmed Friday morning by the medical examiner, Pickens said.
Malaka Jones was driving the car, Sandy said. Hogans was a passenger in the front seat and the child was riding in the back seat, Sandy said.
The accident happened in the southbound lane entering West Virginia from Ohio, said Sandy, who cited the officers and fire departments responding to the accident "who daily place their lives on the line to protect and serve."
The accident was the second fatal crash in Wood County in less than a week.
On April 15, Roy Wayne Collins, 52, of Washington, W.Va., was killed when his car entered the median and flipped over on U.S. 50's Blennerhassett Island Bridge.