CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Christopher Riley hasn’t had great luck with potholes.
First, he was taking his daughter to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown from his home in Shinnston.
“On my way up there, and struck a pothole and blew my tire out. And while she was humbled in pain in my car, she had to endure me changing the tire until I took her the rest of the way up there,” said Riley.
And that’s how the rim from his 2019 Nissan became damaged.
Not long after that incident, another set of potholes did a number on his car, and this time, it was worse.
“I just took off, my regular going-to-work morning, and got on the highway, and shortly after, blam-blam, tires go out, my warning lights come on for the air in the tires gone out,” said Riley.
Riley suffered not only two flat tires that morning, but he suffered mild deformation of the rims, and damage to the shocks and struts, causing cylinders in his three-year-old car to need replacing.
He ended up missing work that day as repairs took all day and cost him more than $500.
He filed a claim with the West Virginia Division of Highways and received some mail a short time later.
]”It said ‘hey, this could take anywhere from a year to a year-and-a-half for us to even get on the docket to even look at.’ I was like ‘my goodness,'” said Riley.
He received an official response a week later.
“Upon reading that, the Department of Highways said ‘you know what? We’re just not going to accept responsibility for this for lack of evidence,'” said Riley.
Riley said he submitted everything required, including a statement, insurance information, location, photos and more.
While the paperwork says that doesn’t mean you won’t get paid, Riley believes that it’s a way to fend off people from submitting a claim.
“The brochure with a little 12 to 18 months in there is a little message to say ‘hey, go away.’ The ‘I’m not responsible’ is another ‘hey, go away,'” said Riley.
12 News reached out to the West Virginia Department of Transportation. They asked for more information, and after providing it, they said they would look into the matter. So far, they have not given an official statement.
If 12 News receives an official statement, we will update this story to reflect the Department of Transportation’s findings.