Charges Pending Against Stepfather in Fatal Accident, Third Vehicle Identified

MORGAN COUNTY, W.Va. - West Virginia State Police have released new details surrounding the serious three vehicle accident that claimed the life of a 9-year-old girl along Rt. 522 Monday evening. 

Troopers said the stepfather and driver of one of the vehicles, Walter Weaver, of Hagerstown, Md., has charges pending against him. 

As we've reported, Weaver was driving north along Rt. 522 in his Toyota Avalon with his two step children when he came up behind a black Jeep stopped in traffic, attempting to turn left onto Brosious West Lane. 

Weaver attempted to pass the Jeep on the left, when his vehicle collided head-on with Sonia Andrews, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., who was traveling southbound. 

State police said they are investigating child safety for the two children who were in the car with Weaver. They said neither child was in a booster seat and troopers said children under the age of 13 shouldn't sit in the front seat.

"A lot of kids under 13 years old are too light or too short, they're not tall enough to activate a lot of the air bags in some of the vehicles to deploy," said Trooper First Class Jeremy McDonald, West Virginia State Police, Berkeley Springs Detachment. 

Troopers said they also don't know what caused the accident. 

"We're unsure if he was distracted and didn't see the vehicle sitting in the lane or if he was attempting to go around the vehicle being in a hurry," said TFC. McDonald.

Troopers said all four people involved in the accident were wearing seat belts. They said that the seat belts probably saved the 5-year-old's life and prevented other deaths in the crash. 

"It could have been more it could have been worse than it was," said TFC. McDonald. 

According to police, it is also illegal to pass in a no-passing zone, which this area was, and to pass on a roadway with double yellow lines. 

Troopers tell WHAG they found the driver of the black Jeep, identified as Felippe Cohill, who lives on Brosious West Lane. They said before the accident happened Cohill was attempting to turn left so he could go home. After the collision happened, police said Cohill had pulled over to the shoulder and tried to help the victims. 

"After he rendered aide, her left the scene briefly to go down to the end of the road in an attempt to slow down the traffic," said TFC. McDonald. 

No one else in the crash is facing charges, just Weaver, state police said. They plan to interview Weaver on Wednesday. 

Troopers also said Weaver has a suspended West Virginia license.

Sonia Andrews is currently in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries. 

West Virginia State Police said that area of Rt. 522 is a concern for them because it's a high traffic area and there are currently no turning lanes. 

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