MEMORIAL FOR SIBLINGS KILLED IN COAL TRUCK ACCIDENT - Truck Was 91,000 Pounds Overweight

(09/06/2002)

A memorial service will be held today marking the first anniversary of two siblings killed by an overweight coal truck.

Mary Ellen Justice and Jimmy Nelson died September 6, 2001 after a coal truck which was 91,000 pounds over the legal limit, pushed their car into oncoming traffic on Route 94 near Henshaw.

State Police concluded the overweight truck was not a factor in the accident.

The families want State Police and other authorities to enforce the weight limits. They say coal operators and haulers constantly flaunt the law.

During Cecil Underwood's administration, enforcement of overweight coal trucks was practically non-existent, and until this year in the Wise administration, there was little effort to enforce the overweight law.

A dozen or so deaths have been associated with overweight coal truck accidents in the past 18-20 months, mostly in southern West Virginia, with a large number of other overweight accidents which produced injuries and damage.

The West Virginia Legislature spent most of 2002 trying to pass a law that would make the "over weights" legal. A majority of legislators barely defeated the initiative, and another round is expected in January.


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