SALEM, W.Va. — A driver who heard the collision between two trucks on U.S. Route 50 in Harrison County Wednesday evening knew it was bad.
“It was so loud, even though the windows were up and I wasn’t there yet, you could still hear it,” Jason Barr told MetroNews Thursday. “It was big.”
Barr was traveling west after work at about 6 p.m. when the head-on crash between the pickup truck and flatbed commercial truck occurred. He quickly got out of his vehicle and tried to help the victims.
“The driver of the pick-up was the only one that had any type of responsiveness to him. He would just let out low-level moans with every time he breathed out. He couldn’t speak to us,” Barr said.
Harrison County Sheriff’s Department deputies said Thursday the driver was in critical condition at Ruby Memorial Hospital but the four others in the extended cab pickup, a man, woman, boy and girl, were killed.
Barr tried to help the two women in the back of the cab. He jumped up in the bed of the truck and reached through the broken out back window.
“There was no really obvious trauma signs really. I was doing the best I could to check for their pulse on their neck. I never did feel anything and this was just like seconds, ya know, after the crash,” Barr said.
The names of the victims, all members of a Salem family, will be released Friday, deputies said.
The crash occurred near the Raccoon Run exit when the pickup, heading west, went through the median and into the path of the flatbed. Deputies suggested Thursday the state Division of Highways should consider a cable barrier for that stretch of highway.
“That is a right hand curve,” Barr said. “The pickup truck is headed west and if they would have hydroplaned a little bit it wouldn’t have took much to slide out of that curve and cross the median.”
The driver of the flatbed had been released from the hospital by Thursday afternoon.