AP NEWS

Fire chief struck by driver while directing traffic

August 20, 2018

MAN, W.Va. — A man from Davin, West Virginia, faces several criminal charges after an incident in which Logan County Fire Chief Joe Wimmer was struck by a vehicle while directing traffic, according to a news release from the Logan County Sheriff’s Department.

According to the release, trees and power lines were down in the roadway in the area on Thursday. Wimmer was directing traffic while members of Logan County Station 200 Fire Department were conducting hazard control awaiting arrival of an Appalachian Power crew. Logan County Deputy R. Johnson was also present.

Jeffer y Woods, 53, is charged with emergency vehicle-failure to yield, emergency vehicle-approaching improperly, fleeing vehicle, reckless driving, obstructing an officer, obstructing a firefighter directing traffic and obstructing a firefighter. Any other charges are pending lab results.

Woods was processed by the Logan County Sheriff’s Department and is being held at Southwestern Regional Jail awaiting arraignment.

While directing traffic, Wimmer noticed a small blue car approaching him at a high speed, according to the release. Wimmer motioned for the vehicle to stop, and the driver told Wimmer he was going around traffic because he wanted to go home.

Wi m mer adv ised t he man to wait patiently, but the man ignored Wimmer, drove around other vehicles and struck Wimmer in the legs, throwing him onto the hood of the car and then onto the ground. The motorist left the scene, according to the release.

Logan 911 dispatchers contacted Johnson about the situation. When Johnson located the vehicle and attempted to perform a traffic stop, the man placed the vehicle in reverse in an effort to flee and backed into another vehicle.

Johnson then asked the driver to exit the vehicle. According to the release, the man refused and held onto the steering wheel to prevent Johnson from pulling him out of the car. After a brief struggle, Johnson removed the man from the vehicle and he was placed under arrest.

The driver was given several field sobriety tests and showed no signs of impairment. He was taken to Logan Regional Medical Center and consented to a blood draw.

Dylan Vidovich is a news reporter for HD Media. Contact him by phone at 304-896-5196 or follow him on Twitter @DVidovichLB.

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