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Tree falls on truck killing young attorney

Mar. 01, 2013 @ 04:01 PM

LOGAN, W.Va. — A young Logan attorney and Marshall University graduate died Friday morning when a tree fell from a hillside and landed on the cab of his pickup truck, an incident the lead investigator referred to as a freak accident.

The incident happened about 8:30 a.m. Friday on W.Va. 10 in Aracoma, W.Va. The unincorporated area sits between West Logan and Logan, W.Va., nearly 70 miles southeast of Huntington.

West Virginia State Police Cpl. C.D. Kuhn identified the deceased as Carl Adkins, 29, of West Logan. The vehicle, a Chevrolet Silverado, was registered to Adkins at an address in Huntington.

Investigators believe the Silverado was traveling south on W.Va. 10 when a tree fell from the neighboring hillside. The tree, which Kuhn described as large, fell onto the Silverado’s cab causing its driver to crash into a ditch.

Adkins was pronounced dead at the scene. The corporal could not specify as to whether he died from injuries associated with the fallen tree or subsequent crash.

Logan County Prosecutor John Bennett met with Adkins just Thursday. He described the victim as a young defense attorney from Chapmanville, W.Va.

Adkins was admitted to the state bar in October 2010. That proved enough to make an impact on Bennett, who has practiced for 38 years.

“I’m old enough to be his dad,” he said. “It’s just terrible ... He was willing to work hard, represented his clients very well and got his point across while still being a gentleman, even if you disagreed with him.”

Adkins earned his undergraduate degree at Marshall University and was engaged to be married to a Huntington woman.

No other vehicles or motorists were involved in Friday’s incident.

Kuhn acknowledged a similar crash, which also resulted in death, years ago in the same area. He could not say if trees along W.Va. 10 pose any elevated danger, but said such incidents are rare as many vehicles drive the heavily traveled roadway every day.

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