POCATALICO, W.Va. — A Tuesday morning accident on Interstate 77 in Kanawha County killed a Logan County man and injured his wife.

The single vehicle crash happened about 4:20 a.m. in the southbound lanes between the Pocatalico and Tupper’s Creek exits. The crash shutdown the southbound lanes and forced a detour throughout morning rush hour.

“It was a husband and wife involved, the wife was driving and the husband was a passenger,” said Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department Corporal Brian Humphreys. “It went into the median, overturned, and rolled about six times.”

Deputies said Jonathan Copley, 44, of Man, was in the passenger seat and was not wearing a seat belt. He was ejected out the back glass of the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife, Susan Copley, 38, of Man, was buckled up and survived the crash. She was in critical condition at a Charleston area hospital late Tuesday morning.

The sheriff’s department’s reconstruction team worked the accident scene for several hours.

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  • Tom Miller

    To PoorManagement...I am so sorry that you are "inconvenienced" when someone is killed on a highway. I am sure that the family of the victim(s) understand the importance of your work - are you a doctor who is on call rushing to perform emergency surgery, or a CPS Worker rushing to save some child from an abusive environment?

    Having been in emergency services for 30 years I can assure everyone that these scenes are complex - especially when a death is involved. Law Enforcement must determine the cause of the accident - e.g. was another vehicle that left the scene involved, did a tire blow out, mechanical failure, alcohol or drugs involved. Detailed measurements and photographs have to be taken and recorded - at night...in the rain. The road has to be closed because too many people don't slow down...or satop talking on their cell phone...or rubber neck...or take their eyes off the road to take a picture and seem to someohow run over the first responders or strike their vehicles. This happened in Kentucky two weeks ago killing a firefighter...and, sadly, has occurred another 80+ times this year across the US.

    The Kanawha County Sheriff's Department is a very professional organization who conducted the investigation in as prompt and expeditious manner as practical given a scene that was 500 yards long and involved a fatality. The fire department wasn't getting paid to be out there for four (4) hours helping clean up and providing generators and light for the investigation.

    PoorManagement - I used my real name. Please share your real name and address with your local law enforcement and fire department and ask that they just quickly sweep you and your family's remains off the road so someone as callous as you won't be delayed...

  • Moco man

    Poor Management..........the State Police Academy in West Virginia is one of the best and toughest in the country. With that said, they are most likely turning out some of the best troopers in the country. Now knowing that fact, the next time you are in another state and there is a wreck resulting in a fatality and those troopers only have the lane shut down for an hour or so......pause for one moment and ask yourself this, did these officers conduct as thorough of an investigation as the officers in West Virginia do so the loved ones left behind know exactly what happened and can move forward and find closure.........

  • LDB

    I have investigated many vehicle accidents over the years. I have never had a fatal that was wearing a seat belt. According to the National Safety Council 1/2 of 1% of accidents involve entrapment in water. Your odds are just so much better if you stay in the vehicle.

  • Air bag

    Seat belts save lives, buckle up. That story about your uncles friends buddy who would've died in that wreck if he'd have been wearing his seat belt is just a myth. When will people learn?

  • Silas Lynch

    In the mere blink of an eye a change can occur that is certainly everlasting.

    But how can they already know he was ejected from the rear glass?

    And I agree, traffic control by our police is lacking in WV. It almost appears as if our law enforcement seem to think directing traffic is beneath them. Many times I have happened across an accident and if a Fireman doesn't clear the traffic out it will remain stopped while the Trooper, Deputy or local sits in his cruiser and I suppose doing paper work....

    • mitch

      @ Silas Lynch,

      The hole in the back glass was probably a dead giveaway.

  • PoorManagement

    Loss of life is always a terrible thing. My heart goes out to the family. But, and I'm sure I'll catch grief over what I'm about to say, why does the interstate have to be shut down for 4 hours because of a single vehicle crash? Due to my work I travel many miles on the east coast and I can say that WV is by far the worst at traffic management of any state I travel. Fire and rescue, law enforcement, DOH and the media never seem to work together. Instead of efficiently working together they seem to take the approach that "I'm in charge". I couldn't even imagine what they would do should they be confronted with an extreme situation that involved multiple vehicles and hazardous chemicals. Very scary.

    • Alum

      I suspect it was because of the fatality and the need to complete the investigation before altering the mishap scene. There may have also been a fuel spill that had to be contained and cleaned up. This is typical no matter the state.

      I'm a commuter and this happens, whether by auto or by rail. I have experienced 3 hour rail delays because the train I was riding was involved in a fatal mishap. It's unfortunate all the way around but it happens from time to time.

      Hopefully you will never come up against a fatal accident in your travels and I hope you are never involved in one. Godspeed in your travels.