CLENDENIN, W.Va. — A 25-year DOH engineer was killed Tuesday when the state truck he was riding in on Interstate 79 south of Clendenin was T-boned by an SUV being driven by a Kanawha County woman, who also died, authorities said.
Glenn F. Lough, 47, of Fraziers Bottom, and two other workers were heading back to the DOH’s Division 1 offices in Charleston at around 4:40 p.m. Tuesday when an SUV, driven by Edna Martin Gallian, 80, of Clendenin, came from the northbound lanes and slammed into the southbound DOH vehicle.
Given the speed of both vehicles, the DOH driver would have had little time to react, Kanawha County Sheriff’s Dept. Sgt. Brian Humphreys said.
“When you’re going around 140 miles an hour (combined) it’s very difficult for anybody to be able to adjust their own vehicle to account from where the oncoming car may be coming from,” Humphreys said. “The last thing you’re worrying about when you’re coming down the highway is a car coming in the opposite direction.”
Investigators don’t know yet what caused Gallian, a longtime realtor in the Kanawha Valley, to lose control of her vehicle, Humphreys said.
“Regardless of age it could be a medical condition. At any point, anybody, could be subject to something that incapacitates them while they’re driving, something unexpected,” he said. “That may be revealed with help from the state Medical Examiner’s Office but it may not be.”
The two other DOH workers, in the Ford Expedition with Lough, were injured in the collision and were still hospitalized Wednesday.
State DOH spokesman Brent Walker called Lough “a valuable team member.” He had performed several duties for the DOH during his career.
Walker called the deadly crash “an awful situation” for those who knew both victims.
“We’ve just turned our attention to the family and to the coworkers,” he said.