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Welch mourns death of police officer

WELCH, W.Va. — Mayor Reba Honaker says her town is devastated by a weekend accident that left a Welch policeman dead.

Shawn Wellman, 32, was killed Friday night when his four-wheeler crashed near the Welch Airport in McDowell County.

“Apparently a dog ran in front of him and he swerved to miss it and the four-wheeler flipped him,” said Honaker. “He landed on the pavement and his head had a hard lick on the pavement.”

Wellman was not wearing a helmet. He was taken to Welch Community Hospital and eventually was flown to CAMC in Charleston where he died. 

Wellman was on his third stint as a city police officer. He had left the force twice previously to work on the railroad and in the coal mines where the pay was better, Honaker said. However, after being laid off, he returned to the police department.

“He was a fun person. He always made you laugh and always made you feel at ease with any situation,” said Honaker, who knew Wellman for years. “He was an excellent officer.”

Funeral arrangements for Wellman were pending Monday.


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