BOMONT, W.Va. — A night out ended tragically with one teenager dead and 10 more injured in Clay County.

State police said an 2002 F-150 extended-cab pickup truck lost control on Route 36 in the Bomont community in Clay County and crashed around 4 a.m. Wednesday. Troopers say six passengers were in the cab of the truck and five were riding in the bed.

“One of the occupants of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene,” said State Police Sargent Greg Stalnaker. “Ten other people were transported to Charleston area hospitals.”

Troopers identified 17-year-old Kara Conley, of Bomont, as the fatality. The driver was identified as Isaac Murphy, 18.  Troopers said he apparently lost control while traveling at a high rate of speed.

“They were headed south on Route 36, veered off the right and went through a guard rail,” said Stalnaker. “They traveled up a creek bank and hit a tree, where the truck overturned on its side.”

The truck traveled 140 feet off the road.

Troopers said a small amount of marijuana was found in the vehicle, but stressed it’s hard to say to whom it belonged. On Wednesday troopers were trying to interview each passenger to determine what was going on leading up to the wreck.

“The rumor has it, which we haven’t exactly confirmed, they were out ghost-hunting,” he said. “I’d say young teenagers trying to possibly scare one another, but until we get the statements we’re not 100-percent sure on that.”

All the occupants of the truck suffered some injuries, with the two in most critical condition undergoing emergency surgery in Charleston.


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  • wvman75

    A beautiful young lady. My prayers and condolences go out to her family and all the families involved.


    My sincere condolences and sympathy to the deceased girls family and friends and hope for those injured. Now, ghost hunting with marijuana present at 4AM is obviously a dangerous mix while eleven people cram into a pickup truck can and bed. So yes grieving is certainly appropriate, But don't stick your heads in the sand and ignore all the contributing variables like they weren't present. Otherwise, this tragedy will be repeated.

    • Mark

      >>Now, ghost hunting with marijuana present at 4AM is obviously a dangerous mix.<<

      You are absolutely right, but I thought everybody knew this ....
      I remember when my mama warned me about the dangers of mixing Ghost Hunting with marijuana. She told me "those ghosts will kick your butt in order to steal your weed".

  • Sebastian

    I just read this story and it is very upsetting to know a young life was lost and others maybe seriously hurt. Living down here in the "Free State" of Mcdowell County, we have a code of "ethics" different from anywhere else. When someone gets hurt or passes away, a "truce" is called and love and helpfulness comes through. We as a county take a little and give a lot back,its in both good and bad situations. I would almost lay money on the table that if anyone who had needs from this accident, all you would have to do is say "will yall help" and I bet your bottom dollar we will come with more that is ever needed. McDowell Co. + Clay County= getting it done!

  • jay berkley

    Sounds more like a crash than an accident.

  • katey

    Well everyone don't be so harsh on these kids. Noone was there so we don't know what happened. Its so sad that a young girl lost her life and few more that r still in critical condition at a local hospital. Prayers for all that r involved. Especially for the family that lost there precious daughter

  • Tiffany

    I remember doing some very stupid things as a teenager. It is by the Grace of God that I survived those crazy times. As adults, we know that 11 people in a Ford F-150 is not the smartest decision, however, we are adults. I didn't question my mortality as a teen. I am just thankful that there were no social media sites around to criticize my every mistake. One precious life was lost and 10 other kids are injured. People need to show some respect. Once the physical injuries heal, those 10 kids will have to deal with this tragedy for the rest of their lives. They need prayers instead of being judged.

    • Tiffany

      Maybe the parents knew the kids were going "ghost hunting" and maybe they didn't. I'm sure that those of you criticizing NEVER told your parents you were going one place and in fact went somewhere else. I know that I did many times. Pointing fingers and placing blame is not the answer. The fact remains that this tragedy changed the lives of many.

  • Leann (SC)

    Clay is a great place to live in and to raise a family. Just because it doesn't have the updated stuff your accustomed to, doesn't make Clay a Sewer place to be in. How dare any of you run you mouth about how others raise their kids, where they live, or their means for living. The folks there raise their kids with honor for family, god, each other and their communities, just like so many other communities across the Nation with small out in the sticks towns. There have been numerous people that go on to make great lives for themselves and remain in Clay..So shut up! Where were the parents at in this accident? They were at home being parents, loving their families, allowing their children to gain a little bit of trust, to have a good time, to be teenagers. Where were you judgmental people when your children made a mistake? Or where were your parents at when you made a mistake? The only ones that is in the wrong in this tragedy is the people trying to stir up crap. Why can't everyone come together and pray for these families, support each other.

    • wva girl

      Well said

    • Shadow

      Parents have a responsibility to be parents, not friends. That is why being a parent is difficult. I am sorry to say that the parents of these children did not develop a sense of responsibility in their children. They took the easy way out.

    • Tiffany


    • Melinda


  • Holly

    You people are just stupid and cruel! A little girl died! Have some respect!!!

    • Shadow

      There is no question that the death of the young girl is sad and the same for those that were injured. However, a lot of times in this life, we make our own luck. A little common sense would have removed the cause for this sadness. The abrogated their responsibility to themselves, it was not society.

  • Wixcheew

    Please pass a law forbidding people to ride in the back of a pick- up truck. So many have died in this manner. Even hitting a bump can eject someone. I saw a lady holding
    a little baby in a pick- up bed with
    about 5 other people. That is highly
    illegal. Even if a law were passed
    it would probably not be enforced
    until after a tradgedy such as this one. A life would have been saved
    maybe. People in WVA don't like to
    be told what to do so they will not
    obey the law just like the seat belt
    law, no cell phone, no texting, stopping for stop signs(a lot of people just slow a little and go right
    through them), no speeding, and
    many others. It would take ten times the officers we have even to
    begin enforcement. Also if you
    cause a death while violating another law you are initially charged with capital murder in W VA. I grieve whenever a young
    person dies. I have seen it many times close to me. Several of my
    students passed way to soon. There is a law of nature called natural selection where creatures
    who do certain things do not
    survive. Humans are also bound by this law. It has to be obeyed!!
    Hopefully the young people of
    WVA will learn and be safe. They
    are not old enough to make sound
    decisions a lot. Heck adults don't do it enough. A poor decision was
    made and it was costly. It does not
    reflect on any area or the people It
    can happen anywhere!!May the Creator watch after the children and guide them along life's path to

    • WVSon

      Couldn’t disagree more. We don’t need such a law and I doubt it would have mattered in this case. Riding in the back of the pick up to and from the swimming hole is a grand ole time. The more laws we have the less free we are.

    • NorthernWVman

      no law will fix stupid

    • jo-jo

      no law saying you can't ride in the back of .
      a truck

      • jo-jo

        almost forgot about the time we had 9 teenagers in a Beetle.

  • will

    Darwin Rules

  • Mark

    Thos who "PRETEND" that they have never been stoned are always the first ones to cast the stones.

    • NorthernWVman

      Some of us have NEVER smoked the stuff.

      • Mark

        Can you say "geek" and "loser"?

  • Madeline

    Sam, I agree with you. God bless those kids and their families. I don't know the families circumstances and I will not judge people by what their children do or where they live.

  • Tim C

    This is clay county. Kids have no chance there. It is a sewer to raise kids in. Nothing but drugs addicts and derelicts there.

    • Tiffany

      Tim C
      My husband and I grew up in Clay County. We are both college graduates and when we started our family, we moved back to Clay County. It is a wonderful place to raise children. We are a tight knit community and we stick together through the tough times. So your comment is ignorant at best!

    • Tim

      TIM C
      I urge you to be careful about comments relating to EVERYONE in a community!!

      Why would you be so stupid and disrespectful and even open your pie hole and spew your ignorance about this tragic incident!!

      Just plain uncalled for man!!!

  • donj

    Ages 14-20 out running around at 4 a.m. What in the world were the parents thinking or doing? I had a curfew until I was 18.

    • J.R. Skene


  • sam

    May God Bless this family during this tragic time. Life is so precious and sometimes we take our own children for granted. I ask each reader to pray for this family and tell your children about how much you love and care for them..