BIG CHIMNEY, W.Va. — A Clay County men went for a wild and what turned out to be a deadly ride through Charleston Thursday afternoon.

Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Cpl. Brian Humphreys said Michael Lee McKinney, 46, of Clay, was going in excess of 100 mph and weaving in and out of traffic on Interstate 64. He caused three accidents in the city limits and then continued onto Interstate 79 north where he sideswiped a few other vehicles.

Humphreys said McKinney then lost control of his car going near the Big Chimney exit. The car overturned several times and the driver was ejected. He died a short time later at a Charleston hospital. He was not wearing a seat belt.

“People were alerting law enforcement and law enforcement was trying to get to the area and unfortunately it was a little bit too late this time. This person was moving so fast there was a lot different ways he could go and it was a little difficult to predict where he was heading,” Humphreys said.

Charleston police said it all started at about 1:45 pm when McKinney got into a crash in Kanawha City. He got out of the car and began beating on the driver’s side window of the woman driving the other car. He backed into a vehicle leaving that scene. The next crash took place at the intersection of Washington Street East and Court Street in downtown Charleston. McKinney kept going and slammed into two vehicles on the Elk River Bridge on Washington Street, hitting one vehicle five times.

Humphreys said part of the investigation would be what may have caused the erratic behavior.

“Was there some sort of medical issue that was related to this driving? Was he driving intoxicated? Was there drug use or something along those lines?”

Cpl. Humphreys said it was scary situation for many drivers on a pair of busy interstates in and around Charleston.

“We’re very saddened by the outcome of this,” Humphreys said. “There was property damage. There was loss of life. There were possible other injuries. There were a lot of lives endangered today by this driving and of course we don’t want that to happen.”


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  • Freda cooper

    So sorry for the loss he grew up a great little boy we all
    Loved him he stopped to see us about a month Ago Said he just moved bAck here .so sorry mr mrs R. F. Cooper &son darrin

  • Darrin cooper

    Michael was a childhood friend He loved to fish He was a great guy. He recently lost his dad and was taking it hard. No excuse for what he did but he was not a villain. Just had gotten away from who he really was. He will be missed

  • WVDriver

    Oh, he was from Clay. That explains a lot.

  • Savage

    Seat belts aren't 100% guarantee of life after a crash. I also have previously been in a wreck which if wearing a seat belt would have been fatal. Also you are correct with your analogy. Look at Earnhardt, he was wearing a seat belt.

    That being said I think it should be left up to the individual, not big brother. If I'm in a wreck, I won't be tied down like animal. Wearing a seat belt is like religious freedom, people should have the right to choose.

  • 2XLPatriot

    I'll dispute that by saying that the force of impact alone, seat belt or not, could have killed him. Deceleration and blunt force trauma can cause everything from a torn aortic arch to cardiac / pulmonary contusions, head trauma, etc. Sorry to get all medical here but, I've seen people killed from moderate rear end collisions while wearing their seatbelts. The damage to the vehicle, be it minimal or horrendous, can be misleading.

  • Larry

    I don't know, my cousins uncles brothers roommate in college was in a wreck, and the doctors swore if he'd been wearing his seatbelt he'd have been killed for sure, no joke, I swear.

  • any major dude

    Judging by the look of the wrecked car, I GUARANTEE the driver would not have been killed in the accident if he had been wearing a seatbelt. Once he was ejected from the vehicle, he was a goner.

  • any major dude

    Darwinian evolution at its finest

  • David Stover

    One less scumbag among us.

  • ThatGuyOverThere

    When I was in college I was comming home from Morgantown down 79 to Charleston, I came upon a white Hummer H2 in the left hand lane doing about 72 MPH...I was in the right hand lane slowly catching up to them. I locked in my cruise at about 72 also, the driver never got out of the fast lane from Jane Lew to Charleston...and they never went over about 72...They had Ohio Plates...there was plenty of traffic that passed me then passed them in the right (slow) lane...I thought it was kinda funny and showed much dedication...

  • Ricky

    That's a decent guess, but since we're playing amateur detective/toxicologist/doctor/coroner, I'm going with bath salts. Looks like he pounded on that window because he was hungry and needed to eat that woman's face for a tasty treat.

  • Mtnman

    He just decided to use another deadly weapon.....right Griff? The govt. should BAN all cars now! If people didn't own a car this sort of thing would never happen. Cars are the problem!! Right Griff?



  • Savage

    When I first heard of this I thought Petty had come through the county. After reading the details I think the guy was dodging pot holes, or drank a little to much MCHM. R.I.P. Crash.

  • Randy

    Sad for his loved ones. A good thing for thousands of others who drive the area.

  • ViennaGuy

    You're right; it shouldn't be a catalyst for erratic behavior.

    But by the same token, the "inconsiderate" people who are riding the passing lane with the cruise control on and not passing anyone for miles and miles is every bit as dangerous as an erratic driver because they create a bottleneck and a safety hazard for everyone else.

    If drivers aren't going to pass, then they need to get out of the passing lane - and law enforcement needs to take those people as seriously as they do these nuts who go way over the speed limit.

  • northforkfisher

    We have an idiot doing the same thing on the back road where I live. The speed limit is 35 even though it is a two lane road because of how curvy the road is . He is driving on it with a blind bridge well over 60 to 80 mph while he is leaning to the center of the cab. Several people walks on this road for exercise and one of tourists attractions is on the road adding even more traffic.

  • theactsoftheapostles

    I heard an old preacher say one time, "if God decides not to give you your next breath, you couldn't catch it in a fast car."

    Such a profound analogy. Prayers for the family.

  • WVDriver

    This man could have killed someone innocent today by his insane action. He got what he deserved. He's dead.

  • Dumb Liberals

    The only thing he got to faster was the mortuary. It will be interesting to see if the toxicology report is published.

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  • Diaspora

    A speed "limit" is a maximum speed. A few minutes of patience will get anyone past the left lane driver. That persons inconsiderate behavior should not be a catalyst for erratic behavior of other drivers.

  • Larry

    Tailgating is irresponsible and dangerous, no matter the circumstance. If you hit someone in the rear end, you will be found at fault, regardless!

  • Larry

    That's true, good thing he wasn't wearing his seat belt.

  • any major dude

    Lesson learned. If youre going to cause accidents, act erratically by pounding on windows, leave the scene of an accident, and go 100+ mph, at least WEAR YOUR SEATBELT! And tailgating is perfectly OK if the guy is hogging the passing lane! And it's not aggressive driving, slowpoke, just tailgating! Nothing aggressive whatsoever!

  • Jonus Grumby

    The vehicle doesn't look half bad considering everything that happened.

  • Jonus Grumby


  • Larry

    I'm guessing the world is a little better place with this individual now gone from it.

  • John

    Guardian you are correct. Chris being a dangerous driver because someone is going too,slow in the wrong lane is wrong. Besides isn't this a perfect example of why why a middle,finger evolved on the human hand?

  • TC

    Your attitude tells me a lot about what kind of driver YOU are!

  • Ratman

    Yes Chris it's ok to tailgate and endanger lives because you don't like the way somebody else drives. You truly don't have a clue do you? What an idiot.

  • Guardian

    Yes, that is a tooth grinder when someone is going below the speed limit and hogging the left lane.

    But being over aggressive and tailgating is not the answer - that can lead to a chain reaction type crash with the traffic volume on the Charleston area interstates. Better to use your hands free cell phone and call the law and report vehicle make, model, and license number and ask for a patrol car.

    The law says slower traffic is to keep right.

  • Chris

    Maybe people wouldn't tailgate if people would stop going 65 in the left lane...

  • J

    While this incident was much more severe, it should be noted it isn't unusual to encounter drivers speeding, tailgating, making erratic maneuvers, and a general disregard for safety when traveling on I-64 between Htn and Charleston. Police need to step up patrols and battle this aggressive driving.


    probably some guy with mental issues that wasn't taken care of & he just didn't own a gun to go out & shoot innocent people.