(04/02/2002)
State Police in Calhoun County have yet to file charges in two highway fatalities. Pauline Virginia Osterhoult of Chloe was killed on March 17 and Rodney Wagoner of Big Bend was killed on March 24. Both accidents involved collisions with other vehicles.

Family members in the March 24 incident have complained regarding comments made by State Trooper F. L. Hammack to The Parkersburg News.

Hammack said "It is my opinion Mr. (Rodney) Wagoner would have survived had be been wearing his seat belt....He had more room than his son inside the cab (of the truck)." Wagoner was known for wearing his seat belt, according to a family spokesperson.

The trooper told The Parkersburg News reporter that Brian Wagoner, driver of the truck in which his father was killed, and Melvin Shaffer, driver of the other truck, were both severely injured because they were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

The Shaffer family of Stumptown is upset, claiming Melvin Shaffer was wearing his seat belt, which they say can be confirmed by physicians at Charleston Area Medical Center.

Police told The Parkersburg News that charges are pending in the March 24 accident.


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