3/18/2014 8:03 PM
by Karen Franklin
BLUEWELL - Authorities believe speed and cell phone usage could be factors in a fatal crash in Mercer County.
The Sheriff's Department said 25-year-old Kevin Brooks from Jenkin Jones was killed when the car he was driving hit a utility pole and then a home. The passenger, identified as 22-year-old Steven Neace of Tennessee, remains in critical condition in a Charleston hospital.
The accident happened late Monday night on Lorton Lick Road in Bluewell. Witnesses reported the car was traveling at highway speed in a 40 mph zone.
Two area fire departments and Bluefield rescue responded to the scene. Firefighters used the jaws of life to extricate the men from the car.
This accident follows a fatal accident in Brushfork that claimed the lives of two young girls. Authorities say increased funding has helped them step up patrols in hopes of saving lives.
"Small mistakes in this type of accident that were little things and a few more things pile up to the point where you're in the point of no return and people die," Lt. Joe Parks said.
Authorities said the Sheriff's Department is averaging 20 tickets a day along Route-52 for minor offenses.