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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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

    Darwinian evolution at its finest

  • David Stover

    One less scumbag among us.



    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • Jonus Grumby

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

    • Larry

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

      • Randy

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

      • Dumb Liberals


  • Larry

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

    • Dumb Liberals