Harrison County ATV crash leaves 1 woman dead; man charged in her death

Crime

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A Meadowbrook man is being charged with DUI with death after an ATV crash that killed his girlfriend.

On Sunday, deputies with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department responded to an EMS request for assistance at the scene of an ATV accident on Upper Lambert’s Run, near Clarksburg, according to a criminal complaint.

Charles Roach

When deputies arrived on the scene, fire department personnel told them a woman, Amanda Starkey, had been extracted from the crash and taken to United Hospital Center after suffering serious injuries, deputies said. When asked where the driver was, a fireman pointed to a man standing nearby, identified as Charles Roach, 41, of Meadowbrook, according to the complaint.

Roach told deputies he was using his side-by-side to tow an ATV that had broken down, and unbeknownst to him, the brakes on the ATV were not in operation, according to the complaint. While going downhill, the ATV crashed into the back of his side-by-side, causing it to leave the roadway and fall into a creek, which had a pipe that ran parallel to the creek, deputies said.

In the crash, Roach said that his girlfriend, Starkey, who was riding with him, became trapped between the side-by-side and the pipe, according to the complaint. Deputies saw the side-by-side and ATV in the embankment next to the pipe in a condition that corroborated Roach’s testimony, according to the sheriff’s department.

During the interview, deputies said they noticed the smell of alcohol coming from Roach, and they asked him if he had been drinking. Roach replied that he “was not going to lie and that he had been drinking,” according to the complaint.

Deputies performed a field sobriety test and observed six clues of impairment and “vertical gaze nystagmus,” according to the complaint. Deputies asked Roach if there was any reason he could not walk a straight line taking heel-to-toe steps, and Roach replied that he could not due to the amount of alcohol he had consumed, deputies said.

Roach told a deputy to “go ahead and arrest him for DUI if that’s what he needed to do,” and stated that he could not perform the test. Roach also agreed to a preliminary breath test, which resulted in a .162 BAC, deputies said. Deputies placed Roach into custody and transported him to a staging area for processing, according to the complaint.

Deputies said in Roach’s secondary chemical testing at the staging area, his BAC returned at .119. It was also at this time that deputies learned that Starkey had died at UHC as a result of her injuries, according to the complaint.

Roach is charged with DUI with death. He is being held in North Central Regional Jail, with bail set at $15,000.

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