Charleston’s senior assistant city attorney is dead after a Monday night wreck in South Charleston.
Gene Webb, 36, of South Charleston was killed around 11:35 p.m. on MacCorkle Avenue (U.S. Route 60) near Riverwalk Plaza.
South Charleston police are investigating exactly what caused the accident. Webb was headed west and veered across the center line into the oncoming traffic. His pickup truck struck a UPS tractor-trailer head-on.
“We’re still trying to determine if he fell asleep or if he was distracted and looked away for a minute, we’re not sure,” South Charleston Police Chief Brad Rinehart said. “That section of MacCorkle is a long straight stretch from probably the Mound to there and it curves. I don’t know if he was distracted looking over into Riverwalk for something. I’m really not sure.”
Rinehart said there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol at the scene. Webb was pronounced dead on arrival at CAMC. The driver of the semi suffered non-life threatening injuries in the crash.
Webb had worked for the Charleston City Attorney’s Office since 2007.
“Gene was a very nice young man and a first-rate attorney who handled many of our cases in Municipal Court and helped with legal insights on other city issues,” Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said. “He always treated people with respect and was a key part of our legal team. We’re saddened by this sudden tragedy and join his family and many friends in mourning his loss.”
Charleston City Attorney Paul Ellis said Webb was his sidekick and a skilled attorney who worked hard and always wore a smile.
“He was a good friend of mine. We met back in 2007 when he interviewed for the job. He had an offer from this office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and I was really happy when he took this job,” Ellis said.
“He was a good friend and he always wanted to go into situations with a smile and he wanted to get things done.”
Ellis spoke with Webb’s father Tuesday morning. He says it’s very difficult for the family and for Webb’s coworkers at City Hall.
“I’m just trying to get through the day right now,’ Ellis said. “My staff’s very upset. The employees of the city are very upset. He was young. This was very unexpected.”