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Drunken ATV driver accused in fatal West Virginia highway crash

It's just an hour's drive southeast of Huntington to Lincoln County, West Virginia. That is where a 48-year-old man was recently simultaneously released from a hospital and taken into custody by law enforcement officials.

He has been charged with causing a motor vehicle accident while driving drunk; a crash that took the life of a 34-year-old woman who was riding with him on an ATV. He also faces a number of other criminal charges, including failure to render aid.

James Ray Clevinger was hospitalized after the crash that happened in late April. Officials said he was driving the four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle on W.Va. 37 with September Porter along for the ride. When the ATV entered a curve, it did not turn; instead going off the road and striking a fire hydrant.

Both the driver and passenger were thrown from the vehicle. He went down an embankment and she went into a tree, where she died, officials said.

Police officers found an open alcoholic beverage at the scene as well as a shortened plastic straw and prescription medications belonging to the driver.

A witness saw the ATV swerving on the road before the crash. The witness said Clevinger asked him not to call 911 because he was OK.

Clevinger has multiple alcohol-related driving arrests in his past, a newspaper account reported.

We do not know what will happen to the criminal charges the man now faces, but we do know that in many similar situations, a family that loses a loved one will wage their own fight for justice with a wrongful death lawsuit.

You can speak to an experienced personal injury attorney at the Huntington office of Cyrus, Adkins & Walker, Attorneys at Law.

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