Putnam man indicted in 2018 hit-and-run death

March 9, 2019
Morgan Creed Vandergriff

WINFIELD, W.Va. — A Putnam County, West Virginia, man has been indicted by a grand jury after being accused last year of striking another man with his car intentionally, killing him along Ranch Lake Boulevard in Scott Depot.

Morgan Creed Vandergriff, 38, of Crooked Creek Road in Scott Depot, was indicted on one count of first-degree murder by a Putnam County Grand Jury in March in the May 9, 2018, death of 38-year-old John Maynard, of Ranch Lake Estates.

According to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Maynard was standing at the end of a driveway on Ranch Lake Boulevard talking to neighbors when the group saw Vandergriff, in a 2003 silver Chevrolet Cavalier, illegally drive around two school buses - one with its warning lights on and stop sign extended - at about 3:45 p.m. May 9. As Vandergriff continued to speed away, Maynard reportedly began to wave his arms and yell at the man.

According to the criminal complaint, Vandergriff ran off the right side of the road and struck Maynard, killing him. Maynard was pushed about 20 feet from where he was standing, Detective John Hedrick wrote in the criminal complaint.

According to witnesses, Maynard had been sitting on a four-wheeler in his driveway before getting off of it to signal Vandergriff to slow down.

One witness told police that he looked outside and saw Vandergriff’s car outside of his house on Ranch Lake Boulevard. When he asked the driver if he was all right, Vandergriff said a man on a four-wheeler threw a beer bottle at him, and he hit the man as he swerved to miss the object.

Two witnesses told police that Maynard was holding a beer, but did not throw it at anybody.

Vandergriff has been housed at Western Regional Jail since his May arrest.