Friday accident claims two area residents; police still examining crash evidence

by Kate Shunney

Investigators are continuing to examine evidence to determine the sequence of events last Friday that led to the deaths of two people in a head-on crash U.S. 522 north of Berkeley Springs.

The crash killed a local young woman and a man from Needmore.

Lexus C. Miller, 18, of Berkeley Springs was pronounced deceased at the accident scene following the collision of two pickup trucks on Brosius Hill, just south of the Hancock bridge.

Charles P. Nutwell, 47, of Needmore, Pa. died on Saturday of injuries he sustained in the accident. Nutwell had been taken to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown following the crash.

The accident occurred around 11:30 a.m. on May 3.

Morgan County Sheriff K.C. Bohrer released the names of the deceased on Saturday, May 4.

A third person involved in the crash — Bryce G. Waugh, 18, of Berkeley Springs — was flown to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, Pa. by Maryland State Police Trooper 5 for treatment of his injuries on Friday. Waugh was the driver of a southbound pickup truck that collided with a northbound truck driven by Nutwell.

According to Morgan County Sheriff K.C. Bohrer, deputies with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department arrived on the scene to find two heavily-damaged pickup trucks on the northbound berm area of Hancock Road. One of those trucks was overturned, said police.

Hancock Fire Department was first on the scene and notified dispatch that three occupants were entrapped. Fire units from Berkeley Springs were next on the scene, along with additional units from Hancock Rescue Squad.

All three individuals had to be cut out of the vehicles, which were heavily damaged.

Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company officials reported that the three were freed from the vehicles within 15 minutes of the start of extraction operations. All were classified as priority 1 patients – meaning their injuries were critical — by first responders.

Miller was pronounced deceased by the Morgan County Medical Examiner at the accident scene after she was removed from Waugh’s truck, said fire officials.

Emergency response operations closed down that section of U.S. 522 for several hours.

A medical helicopter landing zone was established at the Hancock Airpark. Captain James Steiner was in command of the Hancock Road scene.

Units responded from the State Police, Hancock Police Department, Washington County Fire and EMS, Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company, Morgan County EMS and the Morgan County Medical Examiner.

Investigation ongoing

Sheriff Bohrer, who is the lead investigator in the case, said witness information indicates Waugh’s southbound 1992 Dodge pickup was passing vehicles in a no-passing section of U.S. 522, resulting in the crash. He said the collision with Nutwell’s 1999 Ford F350 took place right at the intersection with Brosius Lane, which is at the crest of the hill above the Hancock bridge.

Bohrer said the investigation into the crash in ongoing. On Monday, police examined both of the trucks involved in the accident to collect more technical data. Police also interviewed Waugh on Monday in the hospital. Bohrer said the young man’s version of events doesn’t contradict what police know from witnesses and the accident scene.

Bohrer said Waugh’s injuries include a broken arm, leg and foot. Waugh was Miller’s boyfriend, the Sheriff confirmed.

The investigation into the details of the crash are ongoing.

Bohrer is being assisted in the investigation by Cpl. Lemon of the Sheriff’s Department and Cpl. S. R. Smith of the West Virginia State Police.