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Victim in fatal accident identified

Nov. 22, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

LESAGE -- A late-morning vehicle crash killed a ResCare employee Tuesday and injured a patient from its Green Acres Regional Center, according to new information released by the Cabell County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities identified the deceased employee as Justin Clifford Ray, 25, of Kenova.

The caregiver was traveling north with patient Neil Pyles, 22, when their company van collided with a parked truck near a utility work zone on W.Va. 2, said Cabell County Sheriff's Deputy Jeffrey Sansom.

The accident happened about 11:15 a.m. near the intersection of W.Va. 2 and Oak Hill Road.

A flagman, stopping traffic at his utility line work site along W.Va. 2, told deputies the involved truck was the last of three vehicles in line when the collision occurred, Sansom said.

The deputy said the accident should serve a reminder to those who travel W.Va. 2. He said rear-end collisions are not uncommon on the two-lane, straight roadway.

"Sometimes they're not paying attention, and all of a sudden it's too late," Sansom said.

The accident remains under investigation. Sansom said deputies will attempt to recover cellphone records and the van's computer chip to learn more about any contributing factors.

Ray was unconscious at the scene and pronounced dead at St. Mary's Medical Center. A preliminary investigation indicates he was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, Sansom said.

Pyles had been treated and released by Wednesday afternoon, according to hospital officials.

The truck's driver -- Darren Case, 33, of Huntington -- was taken to the hospital by a co-worker with less significant injuries. His truck also was owned by his employer, Pea Ridge Public Service District.