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West Virginia truck crash kills woman, critically injures another

It is a more than six-hour drive from Huntington to the small West Virginia town of Middleway. The Jefferson County site was where two women were driving east on W.Va. 51 one recent morning. Approaching from the west was a dump truck with a bad tire.

As the Chevrolet Cruze the women were in and the dump truck were about to pass by each other, the front left tire on the truck blew out. The truck veered into the eastbound lane, smashing into the small passenger vehicle. The 36-year-old woman driving was killed in the violent truck wreck; the 35-year-old passenger sustained injuries that left her in critical condition, officials said.

The two Martinsburg women had the same last name, but law enforcement officials have not said whether they were sisters or otherwise related.

A spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department said that there will likely be no criminal charges filed against the 46-year-old driver from nearby Inwood. He sustained no injuries in the crash.

The wreck took place at about 10 last Thursday morning when the tire blew and the westbound truck veered into the eastbound car. Both vehicles went off of the road and into a soybean field, with the dump truck and its load of gravel on top of the small car.

It took rescue workers about 40 minutes to complete "a pretty difficult extrication," a law enforcement official said.

In similar situations in which no truck driver error is immediately apparent, an attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation will ensure that an investigation examines if there was negligence involved in a driver's or company's decision to deploy a vehicle with what might have been a defective or excessively worn tire.

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