INSTITUTE, W.Va. — A crash involving two tractor trailers in Kanawha County leaves one driver dead, a second injured, and holiday traffic backed up for miles.

Deputies say a semi of Dolin Trucking of Dunbar was merging onto the I-64 just after 6 a.m. Tuesday.  He was struck in the rear by a second semi from Roadway pulling a tandem trailer.

“It struck that truck in the rear end at a pretty good speed,” said Lt. Sean Crosier of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department. “We know from the damage to the cab it was definitely not a slow speed.”

The driver of the Roadway truck, identified as John Charles Miller, 65, of Indianapolis, In. was killed.  The driver of the Dolin truck was Michael Powell of Winfield. He was taken to a local hospital after he suffered minor injuries.

The Sheriff’s Department reconstruction team spent several hours taking measurements of the crash scene and several more clearing away the wreckage on I-64.  Traffic was detoured off the interstate onto Route 25 west bound.

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  • Glen Jackson

    This is a shame that this Gentlemen John Charles Miller lost his life, The acceleration lane is way to short of a distance people trying to merge on to I-64. will pull directly out in front of you. The acceleration lane is way to short , And the combination of that and the Great State of West Virginia bad and very stupid design of a road caused this man his life, Don't judge this man driving this truck trying to make a honest living for him and his family its wasn't his fault and remember this gentlemen wont be there with his family ever again and that's a shame. very sad day for him and his family waiting on him this Christmas.

    • mark

      if he had survived he would have been fired

      • frank

        he also would have been fined by the company, at least he is in abetter place. rip,

    • Jeff

      I'd like to know how fast the gentleman was driving. According to the article, he hit the other truck from behind. The roads do not cause collisions - people driving too fast for the conditions cause collisions.

      • Jerry D

        After reading some of the other posts then I would say it is safe to say it was under 62 mph! And roads may not cause collisions, but it does certainly setup the conditions needed to cause one!

  • Herschel Evans

    Our industry and our company has lost one of the best drivers ever on the road.
    JC Miller was a good friend and a great guy!
    Godspeed my friend, you are dearly loved and will be missed beyond compare! Gvf on

    • Demarie Taylor

      God Bless all his family and friends during this difficult time.

    • Herschel Evans

      Typo at the end. "Gvf on" got there by my clumsy fingers.......

  • mike d

    There will never b a more committed driver to safety .He gave his whole live to safety on the highways and promoting safety to every life he touched. John will b greatly missed.

  • Mac Rushing

    My name is Mac Rushing and i drive for Tyson Foods out of Springdale, Ark. I am amazed at the bad comments that have been made about the accident that Mr. Miller lost his life in. You folks should get down on your knees and pray for his family and not be passing judgement about this accident. I don't know what actually happen but i do know that i have 4 million miles of safe driving and can recount numerous times that things could have been different for me. Also the news reported that it was caused by traveling at a high rate of speed. I am familiar with YRC and Mr Miller and i don't understand how that could be when their trucks are governed at 62 miles per hour. This company and this driver were very safety oriented as far as i am concerned, but sometime things happen beyond anyone's control. Please stop making these judgement's and pray for this family during the holiday's.

    • Glen Jackson

      Couldn't have said it better myself, Sad day

      • Ralph Garcia

        You said it all driver, like JC i drive for a LTL company ABF and are trucks are also governed people just dont realize that Truck Drivers are some of the best drivers out there, they pass judgement on the whole industry because of a few bad apples. JC was a prime example of a real professional

  • Mick S.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of
    J. C. Miller.

    J.C. has been a personal friend for a number of years and had a heart of gold. He was an exceptional truck driver who was extremely proud of his outstanding safe driving record.

    J.C. will be greatly missed as he was an long time active participant in the North Carolina Truck Driving Championship as well as being a part of a close knit group of truck drivers from the North Carolina area.

    Rest in Peace my brother J.C. aka "Grandpa".

    • Brent D

      Met J.C. through the National Truck Driving Championships and became friends at the Make A Wish event in Virginia every year.
      He will be missed.He was a true professional.

  • Kevin

    This driver had 34 years and close to 3.5 million miles without an accident that was preventable on his part. He was one of the safest drivers on the road. He will be greatly missed.

    • Amanda

      Yes he will be truly missed by my dad Mick, and many more.

  • kim

    can't believe the comments on here. they are full of mean spirit and cross words. CAN'T YOU JUST SAY A PRAYER FOR THE POOR FAMILIES WHO ARE SUFFERING?

  • Outdoor Man

    I drove a truck for many years.I trust the truck drivers over the other idiots any day!

  • Michael Cummings

    I see that the 5th wheel retainer pins sheared off from the force of the impact. Thus allowing trailer to push into cab. I hate those retainer pins, 5th wheels need to be bolted to frame. Bolts are 10 times stronger then those pins. Also I find a lot of Roadway units with the pins missing.

    • Rick S.

      I am very familiar with this unit as I work for YRC (Roadway), The tractor has a sliding 5th wheel but it is not one of the jiffable type units that has the pins you are referring to.

  • Michael Cummings

    This tractor was an assigned unit. The driver had 3 Million Plus Miles of safe driving without an accident. Takes 25 to 30 years to reach that milestone.

    I know that area of I-64. Traffic coming on will pull out in front of you. The acceleration lane is short.

    My guess is that Roadway unit was in Right lane. Couldn't move to left lane because it was most likely plugged with over vehicles trying to pass the slow 62MPH Max speed Roadway tractor/ trailer.

    When other unit came off ramp into right lane at slow speed. The Roadway driver was trapped. If he changed lanes and hit vehicles to his left. It would have been his fault.

    I have had this happen to me many times. By cars and trucks. Lucky I was aware of my surroundings and able to slow down or steer around the vehicle that failed to YIELD.

    • Rick S.

      The driver of this unit had 3 million plus miles and had driven this road every since being transferred to Indy. I am pretty sure he was aware of his surroundings. As to the cause I believe we should not speculate and leave it to the State Police to determine the cause.

  • mike clow

    seen it to many times myself driver pulling out in front of another, dont look maybe afraid to get out of tracks (snow covered road), need expect that but have had close calls to similar events, those of you that have never driven ..... dont coment,you all really have no clue.

    • GregG

      I agree. A lot of things can happen out on the big road. Deepest sympathy for the drivers family.

  • B

    Just so you know I work for this company. Our trucks are governed to 61-62 mphs. Also as on the door of the truck. This was one of our drivers that had atleast 30 years or 3 million miles of safe driving without an accident. What a tragedy. My prayers go out to the family.

  • tim

    If it were up to me, which it isn't I would give citations to every 18 wheeler going over 75 mph and wreckless dirving for any speed over 80.

    • Al

      He was a great safety oriented professional driver and my prayers are with his family. Most car drivers have no idea of what it takes for a professional trucker to reach such million miles status!

    • BAC

      You are correct, Tim! Those big trucks are dangerous to other traffic at any speed, and at high speeds are even more so.

      • crackerjack

        tim bac You guys need to be ashamed of youself. JC Miller was a professional in every sense of the word. Until you no the facts about what really happened ,you should be praying for his family that lost a dad at Christmas. I hope God will forgive you

    • Jerry D

      Speed limit is 70.... Don't you think that every driver should be ticketed for anything over? Meaning ANY vehicle??? Don't discriminate truckers.... Some of the best and most patient drivers out there are these brave men and women keeping America moving!

      Anyone that thinks this is an easy job, then you should try it for just a day, to open your eyes up!

      • Laura


      • Al

        I agree!

      • Alum

        First, condolences to the family.

        And Jerry D, some of the worst truckers are on I-81. I absolutely love the ones that drive in the left lane when it is restricted to "no trucks" on both I-81 and I-70. Some truckers think they own the road. I followed one in Virginia on I-81 a couple of years ago who refused to get out of the left lane and was blocking traffic. When clear, he would not move to the right; when I passed him on the right I had to speed up to 85 mph because he sped up. A lot of truckers are good and courteous, but not all and it seems like the courteous ones are becoming fewer and fewer. Brave? I consider a soldier in harm,s way brave, a trucker, not so much.

        Regarding the comment about ticketing and speed, try this KE = 1/2mv2 (that's v squared) or F=ma; look it up if you don't know what this means. Now explain to me why 18 wheelers shouldn't be targeted versus other vehicles with less mass.

        • Josh

          youre probably the idiot that sees a truck coming think you should "hurry and try to beat it because we are so slow" guess what I am one of the guys that will pass in the no truck lane due to the fact you pedestrians in cars who drive under the posted speed limit and are in our way. never fails coming up to a hill I get stuck behind someone like you and I lose all my speed.....brave.....absolutely because like I said previously there you probably are on the phone with your head up your butt in a truckers way I would bet my years pay on it you fall in that category so and I wish that law enforcement would focus on you type of people instead of worrying about truckers who have DOT time limitations so as far as I am concerned please don't stick your nose in the trucking industry and continue hugging your tree

        • mike

          First of all the was probably one of the safest and most professional drivers on the highway. He was a Great friend and mentor to many drivers. Yrc has lost a great ambassador to the company. He will be greatly missed. Rest in peace my friend

        • Jerry D

          Try this equation.... No semis.... No food on your table, no clothes on your back....

          And I don't recall me saying anything about a soldier?? Yes a soldier is a brave person, and I put them on a higher pedestal than any citizen...

          What I was trying to point out is that a trucker has to be brave for driving with people who are unsafe, such as driving at 85mph in a 65 or 70 zone... Not every trucker is like the one you describe, there are bad ones in the pot along with the good.

          A vehicle is can be used as a weapon whether it is a motorcycle or a semi, in the hands of the wrong person.

          I hate the outcome of this story non-the-less... Prayers go out to Mr. Millers family, and also I would like to wish Mr. Powell the best.


    The one thing that I hear the most is, Pull out in front of a truck, they'll let u in. A little math here would help. A Tractor trailer weighs @ between 73,280 lbs and 80,000 lbs. Now how quick do YOU think they can STOP those rigs??? Most rigs are in pretty good shape, physically, as they have stringent inspections with D.O.T. Standards. What I gathered from this article, I think the one truck pulled out in front of the other, not giving enough room to back off. Thus, the wreck. A shame here anytime!!

    • Tom

      Agreed, MOST rigs are in pretty good shape. However, I just checked the DOT stats for the coal truck company, a locally-based two truck outfit. According to the Fed, those two trucks had four safety inspection failures that were significant enough to place the truck in "out-of-service" status during the last twelve months. For a fleet of that size, that's very sustantial! It put them "above intervention threshold", which is an official phrase meaning "we're keeping a closer eye on them." I wonder how that will play into this accident investigation.

  • Tom P.

    Everyone...trucks and others as too fast. Tragic.

    • Mike

      Totally agree. And even bad weather doesn't slow some idiots down. Then some innocent person gets killed.

      • Joann

        I saw the wreckage on the way to work this morning. Our hearts and prayers from this area are with Mr. Miller's family and friends. I could not believe the extent of damage. The tractors were going up hill as well. The only way I could see this happening to such an experienced driver, is a medical emergency, falling asleep at the wheel or this other truck flagrantly not yielding. So tragic whatever the reason. This should remind us all to be aware at all times, courteous to those we share the road with and patient drivers no matter what our mode of transportation. RIP Mr. Miller.

        • Tom

          Thank you, Joann for your heartfelt and sensible comments. For those readers and writers who indicated otherwise, this is for you.
          I have worked for the victim's company for over 22 years. I was not acquainted with him personally, since I'm in a location nearly a thousand miles from him. For starters, this particular truck tractor #775142 is one of a series that are all powered and geared alike. They have a governed top speed of 62 MPH in accordance with company policy, set electronically and not able to be altered by the driver. In fact, to alter the Engine Control Module (ECM) requires a specialized piece of electronics, as well as a passcode that very few of our mechanics have access to. Those who do have access will be fired if found altering the ECM in violation of company policy. It simply doesn't occur.
          As for the company, we have a safety record nation-wide that is extraordinarily good. What you and the other readers of this page may not know is that very precise statistics are kept by the Federal DOT under a three year old program called CSA 2010. The summary of those statistical reports, grouped by company, are available to anyone
          I understand that the accident site is on an uphill area, so chances are Mr. Miller was moving at LESS than 62 MPH. That signage on the cab door with his name and "3 million safe miles" indicates that Mr. Miller was one of the "best of the best". What happened will be for the Sheriff's office and the DOT as well as the NTSB to determine. I hope that there are some credible eye-witnesses. I could guess what happened based on what I've seen and been able to conclude, but this investigation isn't about guesswork.
          Thanks again for your comment, Joann. Our prayers are with his family at this tragic time.

          • Terry Mingle

            I have been a driver at the same company as J.C.Miller for 20yrs. I had meet him and talked with him numerous times in the course of our work, and I can say that Mr.Miller was always one of the most polite, positive and all around gentlemen that I had ever spoken with.I was shocked to hear of this terrible accident and my deepest sorrow and sympathy goes out to the Miller Family,God Bless and be with them through the this tragedy.