CAMP CREEK, W.Va. — Two adults and two children from North Carolina are the victims of a horrific accident Thursday evening on the West Virginia Turnpike in Mercer County.
David and Christine Gilley, and their children, Jack and Grace, perished when their mini-van was struck by a tractor trailer after it crossed the median near the Camp Creek exit. The names were released Friday, according to WBTV-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina
“It appeared the truck was traveling southbound and for whatever reason he lost control, crossed through the median into the northbound traffic and that’s where he struck the passenger vehicle,” said Farley in describing the wreck.
The truck, which hauled canned food, overturned after the impact with the van and burst into flames. The flames caused a nearby forest fire leaving a chaotic accident scene when emergency crews finally made it to the remote part of the West Virginia Turnpike.
“Traffic had backed up several miles and we had to negotiate all the traffic problems associated,” he explained. “Plus we had the fire and the fatalities.”
The truck driver, whose name has also not been released, was likely saved from the fire when the cab compartment broke loose from the chassis. The cab wound up about 75 feet away from the rest of the burning truck and the driver was thrown out according to Farley. Although the driver escaped the fire, his injuries were life threatening and he was transported by HealthNet to CAMC.
State Police continue to investigate the accident.