KEYSTONE, W.Va. — A snowplow driver for the state Division of Highways was arrested on the job late Wednesday night on a drunken driving charge.

A McDowell County sheriff’s deputy noticed a light was out on the snow plow being driven by Thomas Keith Henderson of Elkhorn. He pulled Henderson over and later charged him with DUI.

Henderson, 56, was driving the snowplow on Burke Mountain near Keystone at about 11:30 p.m.

DOH spokesman Brent Walker said he couldn’t talk much about the situation.

“We’re just waiting to see how that comes out,” Walker said. “It’s a personnel issue, we’re still investigating it. It’s a legal issue and it’s just something we’re going to let play out.”

Henderson has worked in the DOH’s maintenance division for six years. He was free Thursday afternoon on $500 bond.

The legal blood alcohol limit for a Commercial Driver’s License is .04. It’s .08 for a regular license.



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  • Snowman

    Quit putting the DOH down we are doing the best we can with what we have to work with. We do this with NO wage increases. We are on call 5 months out of the year. We work 12 hours a day 7 days a week sometimes up to 30 days in a row. If he was called out and was drinking he should of told his supervisor he was drinking and couldn't come out. If he was scheduled to be out at a certain time and was drinking it is still his fault. He is a grown man and should be held accountable for his actions. We NEVER EVER get pulled over by Law Enforcement EVER. This sounds like he was plowing where someone else was hoeing and was being targeted. I have been employed for 14 years and none of us in our district have ever been stopped. Either way he is in trouble and should be. But please don't degrade the rest of us who are working long hours to get the main roads clear and trying to open back roads for you your friends and family.

  • Mike

    The funny part is that we pulled a WV snow plow over for a light out. WTH is wrong with that... I don't care if the plow has a light out. I just want the road plowed. Now I'm not saying if the guy was drinking he doesn't deserve it but it seems odd that you would pull a snow plow over for a light out during the conditions we have had in WV over the last few weeks. I'd be happy to see a plow with a light out. lol Sounds like somneone already knew the guy was drinking and had the perfect opertunity for revenge. If you think other wise tell me the last time you seen a cop with a snow plow pulled over. I have never seen it in my 46 years. Just saying..

  • Mountain Man

    I can't believe this forum and the comments of support for a drunk driver. He was drunk on duty operating a huge truck with a plow. Geez, I don't want drunk drivers from DOH on the road in a snowplow. Imagine the damage he could do to a vehicle. Unbelievable.

    • 2XLPatriot


  • jay ziehm

    the light being out could of been caused by ice or snow as the man was doing his job I have seen many cars and trucks in the Morgantown area with lights out dead plates and inspection stickers go untouched for long periods of time. If the man was drunk let him pay the price for his actions. the officer involved was probably doing his job in his own mind but I think there is more to this that we will never know. Just pulling a snowplow for a light out sounds strange. A plow has gangs of lights, one last note I did see an ambulance with a tail light out (not responding) a police officer behind it and he never pulled it over.

  • 2XLPatriot

    Had this guy hit and seriously injured or killed someone, you folks would be changing your comments in a real hurry and blaming the Deputy for not doing his job. Maybe the deputy was pulling him over as a courtesy to let him know the light was out. Get a grip folks. His Blood Alcohol level was 0.09. Legally intoxicated is 0.08. With a CDL license, the legal limit is 0.04 therefore, he was more than TWICE the legal limit. Bunch of hypocrites! There is no justification for drunk driving and no excuse.

    • Mountain Man

      Well said.


    He may have been called out, and had one beer two hours before.
    It doesn’t take much to smell alcohol.
    He was pulled over for a light out, not reckless driving.
    The article doesn't give much information.

    • GregG

      A teaspoon of cough syrup would make a person blow .04. Something just isn't adding up with this one.

  • Terry

    Until the State of WV pays Commercial Drivers what they are worth and not starting pay around 25k per year, this will happen a lot. I'm actually surprised we don't hear much more of this lack of professionalism.

  • wvroads

    This guy will be fired, and should be! If he isn't then the top leadership in the DOH should be fired. Well, they should be fired anyways... they have let the workforce at the DOH erode to dangerously low levels. With the wages they are offering they are not getting the best qualified individuals applying for the job. You get what you pay for!

  • Taxpayer

    Blame the supervisor, blame the police? Are you people serious? If he was driving a snowplow drunk he belongs in jail. Ever pass a snowplow going the other way on a curvy mountain road? Not much room between that blade and your head! I sure as heck don't want some drunk driving the plow!

  • sam

    If he was drunk, doesn't say much about his supervisor. Probably was and was told just be careful..WVDOH needs to get serious with all their employees and make them accountable from the top down. Look at all the scandals, oh I'm sorry the public doesn't know about them. To kill a snake you cut off its head not the tail.

  • Truth

    Good job deputy!

  • Markel Farkel

    Looks to me like a Deputy with nothing to do but pull over (maybe a contractor) someone trying to help clear a road. A light out! I bet the Deputy gets a yearly reward from the County supported by MADD that will get him LOT'S of nonrecognition.
    For me - "I fell so safe now"
    I feel so safe now that there is one less snowplow on the road! I don't need the plow, or the "Deputy" I hope he is tied up in court justifying his actions.
    Good job, Barney! You Go Boy. Hold that bullet in your shirt pocket!

  • Dr. Sarcasm

    Sounds like a "personal issue" between the deputy and the driver. Maybe he was doing some " plowing" on the side?

    • Brian

      "Sounds like Homer Stokes is harbouring somekinda hateful grudge, against the Soggy Bottom Boys"

    • Brian

      +1 There is much more to this than is being reported. Let's see if the DUI charge holds up.

  • blugldmn

    The plow truck driver hasn't trampled all over the constitution.

  • Whip

    If I had to work and live in McDowell county I'd stay drunk as a monkey. Poor guy.

    • Tom wv

      Poor guy... What the heck would you have said if he would have wrecked and killed somebody.? Oh we'll they shouldn't have been on the road any how. Poor guy. Man you are part of the reason this country is in bad shape.

      • b

        .04 I could've drank nyquil. Not really, but you get the point

        • Jason412

          Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Drive sober, or get pulled over.

      • b

        Legally drunk and dysfunctionally drunk are 2 different things.

        • Tom wv

          Drunk is drunk. You are impaired.