Man finds fatal crash victim along Pious Ridge

Editor’s note: This story has been edited to correct errors.

An Elkins man was found deceased Sunday along a Morgan County roadway in what police believe was a single-vehicle accident that went undetected for multiple days.

Morgan County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Johnnie Walter said Monday that officers were called to the 4200 block of Pious Ridge road on Sunday, October 15 shortly after 5 p.m. after a property owner saw a black vehicle off the roadway. The man who reported the accident to police said he was in the area assisting a motorcyclist who had slid off the road.

Police responded to the area and found a deceased single male driver in a black Kia Forte. Chief Deputy Walter said an accident reconstructionist from Berkeley County assisted at the scene and saw no evidence there were other people in the vehicle at the time of the accident. It appears that speed was a factor in the crash and police found no evidence the driver had attempted to brake, said Walter.

He identified the driver as Johnnie Knotts of Elkins. His age is unknown.

Walter said there is no clear reason why Knotts was in Morgan County at the time of the accident. Police near Elkins said they had not been asked to look for Knotts, who may have been on the accident site for two to four days, said Walter.  Local officers were told that Knotts had just moved back to Elkins from Michigan and he had no close relatives still living in the area.

An investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing. Deputy Diehl is the investigating officer in the case.