Man dies after crash into creek

From staff reports

WASHINGTON, W.Va. – A man died early Monday morning after his vehicle went off the road and into a creek, where he drowned.

Joshua James Kerns, 33, of Washington, W.Va., was last seen around 3 a.m. Monday at his home, Wood County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brett Pickens said. Authorities were notified of the crash at 5:12 a.m.

It appears Kerns was traveling south in the 3200 block of Harris Highway, just below Lubeck, when he negotiated a turn and continued into the northbound lane, Pickens said. His 2011 Mazda left the road near a creek.

“When he went airborne, he went across the creek; his vehicle hit the embankment of the creek head-on,” Pickens said.

Kerns was not wearing a seat belt and suffered head injuries in the crash, Pickens said.

“All indications are that he was able to get out of the vehicle, and then it appears at some point he fell into the creek,” he said.

“He drowned in the creek as a result of the crash.”

Pickens said both alcohol and speed are being investigated as contributing factors to the crash.

“Speed was definitely a factor,” he said.

It could be several weeks before test results are received, Pickens said.

It was not clear at what time the crash occurred.

“He could’ve been there 10 minutes. He could’ve been there two hours,” Pickens said.