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.”