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W.Va. officials say 5 dead in Sandy

Oct. 31, 2012 @ 10:18 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — At least five West Virginians have died in superstorm Sandy or its aftermath, including a state legislative candidate killed while checking his deer farm for damage, officials said Wednesday.

Those killed include two Barbour County men, including Republican House of Delegates candidate John Rose Sr. Barbour County Emergency Services Director Cindy Hart said each died Tuesday in separate weather-related accidents. A 40-year-old woman died after her car collided with a cement truck Monday in Tucker County. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office was seeking details regarding the other two deaths, spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin said.

George Rose told The Associated Press his 60-year-old father was checking fences on his 100-acre property near Philippi around 2 p.m. Tuesday when a falling tree limb struck him, killing him instantly.

The elder Rose was with his wife when their all-terrain vehicle became stuck, the son said. She had begun walking away from the ATV as he tried backing it up, George Rose said.

"She heard the limb break, but she had already walked a little ways. She didn't think anything of it, and didn't realize that anything was wrong. But then she saw he wasn't coming," the younger Rose said. "It was a big limb. ... I don't even think he knew it hit him."

Rose was running in the House's 47th District. He was known at the Legislature as an advocate of deer farms, where captive herds are bred for hunting, as livestock and for commercial products.

"The whole county knew him," George Rose said. "He got a lot of other deer farmers started."

Hart said the other Barbour County man died while shoveling snow at his home. She declined to identify him until his relatives had been notified.

Goodwin identified the Tucker County woman as Nanci Hedrick of Davis, a front desk supervisor at the Canaan Valley Resort & Conference Center.

The 40-year-old was driving a PT Cruiser on Monday when it slid into the path of a truck on W.Va. Route 32 near the state-run resort, the county sheriff's department told the Inter-Mountain of Elkins. Goodwin said the other vehicle was a cement truck. The newspaper reported that the truck's driver, Terrance Welch, 34, was taken to Garrett Memorial Hospital in Oakland, Md., with minor injuries. Welch's son, his passenger, also was taken to that hospital, but his condition was not available.