WELCH, W.Va. — Mayor Reba Honaker says her town is devastated by a weekend accident that left a Welch policeman dead.

Shawn Wellman, 32, was killed Friday night when his four-wheeler crashed near the Welch Airport in McDowell County.

“Apparently a dog ran in front of him and he swerved to miss it and the four-wheeler flipped him,” said Honaker. “He landed on the pavement and his head had a hard lick on the pavement.”

Wellman was not wearing a helmet. He was taken to Welch Community Hospital and eventually was flown to CAMC in Charleston where he died. 

Wellman was on his third stint as a city police officer. He had left the force twice previously to work on the railroad and in the coal mines where the pay was better, Honaker said. However, after being laid off, he returned to the police department.

“He was a fun person. He always made you laugh and always made you feel at ease with any situation,” said Honaker, who knew Wellman for years. “He was an excellent officer.”

Funeral arrangements for Wellman were pending Monday.


bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • DWL

    Lack of a helmet proved that he was dead stupid. He of all people should have known that. Yes, he set a very poor and deadly example, but he won't do it again. As a result of his stupidity, his family suffers. If you don't like the facts and only want feel good comments, try going to his obituary.

    • Kevin

      So DWL, when you break the speed limit, do you consider yourself "stupid"? What about when you cross a white or yellow line? Do you call your kids "stupid" when they drive 55 in 45? Agreed he set a bad example, but that doesn't make him stupid and calling a dead law officer "stupid" just because he failed to wear a helmet is asanine. I think you may be the stupid one here if anyone is.

  • Kevin

    Really Woodchuck?? You signed up to comment to leave that? How about keeping idiot comments to yourself and post something meaningful, or better yet, dont post at all. Sad to hear of this, he was my age. RIP Shawn and thanks for your service.

    • Dennis

      Agree Kevin....

  • Woodchuck

    I wish the police would set a better example and wear a helmet. Even when off duty.

    • Jonus Grumby

      Very sad indeed, but you are right. He should have known to wear a helmet. We might not be having this discussion if he had done so. My condolences to his family, friends & the police department.