PARKERSBURG - Road rage may have been a factor in a fatal car accident Friday afternoon at the corner of Garfield Avenue and Sixth Street, police said.
Gloria Malone, 27, of Parkersburg was killed when her 1994 Toyota Corolla struck a stone pillar under the railroad trestle and flipped on its top, trapping her inside.
Several witnesses reported seeing the southbound red Toyota speeding down Garfield Avenue near another southbound vehicle. At some point, witnesses said, the driver of the Toyota threw an aluminum pop can out her window at the other vehicle, said Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin.
Photos by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg firefighters and emergency personnel from Camden Clark Medical Center and the St. Joseph campus work Friday afternoon at a fatal accident at the corner of Garfield Avenue and Sixth Street.
"It appears to be a road rage accident, but it's still under investigation. We're not sure what initiated this," said Martin. "This is one of the worst accidents I've seen in a long time in the city."
Police located the pop can near the scene of the accident, Martin said.
The driver of the other vehicle involved spoke with police after the accident. His vehicle did not make contact with the Toyota, said Martin.
Road rage may have played a part in a fatal car accident at Sixth Street and Garfield Avenue Friday afternoon.
Gloria Malone, 27, of Parkersburg, was killed Friday around 3:30 p.m. when her vehicle struck a stone pillar under the railroad tracks.
Parkersburg Fire Department and police were on the scene until 6 p.m. clearing the wreckage and directing traffic.
"We've spoken with several witnesses who all saw the same thing," said Martin. "We're still investigating what caused this in the first place."
Parkersburg Police Department, Parkersburg Fire Department and the Wood County Crash Investigation Team responded to the wreck around 3:30 p.m. Friday. Wood County Coroner Mike St. Clair arrived on the scene around 4 p.m.
Fire officials remained on the scene until after 6 p.m., extricating the victim from the vehicle.
Gasoline and glass littered the roadway.
Garfield Avenue and Sixth Street were closed near the accident, but all three lanes of Garfield Avenue reopened by 7:30 p.m.
Several nurses and employees of nearby Camden Clark Medical Center were at the scene, assisting emergency crews.
Jason Carpenter, a patient at Camden Clark, was smoking a cigarette with an employee at the hospital and saw the car strike the pillar to the railroad bridge.
The car appeared to be moving on its front end with the rear high off the ground when it hit the stone pillar, he said.
Another witness, Diane Brundige, was visiting her father's hospital room at the hospital when she heard a loud thud. When she looked out the window, she saw a tire fly through the air, landing a couple dozen yards from the accident site next to the south tower parking lot of the hospital.
"I heard the impact, but I didn't see it. All I saw when I looked out the window was brown smoke rising up and this tire in the air. It almost hit the railroad track, it flew up so high," said Brundige.